I write this today because it's been one year now since I last saw her smiling face.
A couple we've known for many years now, care for foster children. One little girl they kept really touched my heart. Let's go back two years to when I first met Sarah.
She was only two at the time, and came from a broken family where her mom (and probably absentee dad as well) were messed up badly on drugs. The county social services felt the need to remove her due to the unsafe conditions at home and she was fortunate as respects being placed with our friends because they care very much about children. First time I met Sarah I thought there was something special about her. For the situation she was taken out of, she was a very good natured, respectful, and fairly soft spoken child. Even when she was in a cross mood as all children are sometimes her crying was more of a wimper than a loud outburst. Sarah was spontaneous with her show of affection for people and would come up to you, talk, hold your hand, even lift her arms up gesturing for you to pick her up to be held. She was just about the most lovable child you could ever meet. One time we were sitting with the couple and she scooted over close to me, held my hand, and looked up at me with a smiling face. I felt my heart completely melt towards her that day. Afterwards, I started developing an emotional, fatherly attachment for this precious little girl which I really had no business doing as things turned out. It's just that I could have so easily taken her as my second daughter right then and there and loved her as if she had been my little girl from birth. That's how much she meant to me.
The couple kept her for nearly a year in which we saw them every week. Sarah's parent(s) hadn't made any progress to straighten their act up and get clean from drugs during that time. So after the year of foster care a judge ordered her to be placed in an adoptive home. Our friends had already adopted a foster child and were still caring for another older girl who was waiting for adoptive parents to come forth. My wife and I talked seriously about adopting Sarah, but there were legit reasons why we couldn't. Then came April 3rd, 2007. Little did I know it was to be the last day I would get to see this sweet little (now) three year old. When I found out she was placed in another home I was devastated. For several days I was deeply depressed over it and it showed. Afterall, it happened so fast I didn't even get to talk to her once more or give her one last goodbye hug. In my mind, it was almost like I had lost one of my own children. I found myself worrying about her, wondering if she was happy and being treated good. This went on for days with me. However, looking back, it was my own fault hoping for something that wasn't going to happen. I set myself up for a BIG letdown and a BIG one it was!
So, here it is a year later and now she's four years old. Our friends never heard anymore about what happened with Sarah's placement - I've asked them more than once. I only hope she and the first adoptive family hit it off really well and she finally could form some permanent bonds. She so deserved to have a happy and stable family life, and to have parents who would love and care for her deeply as if she had always been their own child. For her to receive anything less would be completely unacceptable in my opinion. But, maybe it's better I don't know. If she was still being pulled from one home to another trying to fit in I would be completely heartbroken again. Though I may never see her again, she'll always occupy a special place in my heart. I still love this precious little girl very much and would adopt her today in a heartbeat if our circumstances would allow it.
The sad thing is, there's so many children like Sarah that have been conceived by parents who can't even take care of themselves, let alone a young child. I feel it's such a cruel thing to bring children into that kind of situation and the child having to be taken out of his/her home for safety sake. It's so sad when I think about it. Sarah's parents will never know the years of joy this adorable child would have given them. So many couples would do nearly anything to have a child like her to love and they just threw her away, so to speak. Guess they loved their drugs more than her. Terrible for me to say, but I get upset all over again thinking about all the emotional upset and hurt they put their daughter through by their actions.
If our situation ever changed a bit I'd love to care for foster kids. The only part I'd have trouble with is getting attached to them and then having to let go so they could go to another home for adoption. Sarah was with our friends so long she was calling them "mommy" and "daddy". If I was caring for a little child long enough to be called daddy, far as I'd be concerned I would be their daddy. Their adoption would be with us!
Thanks for letting me pour out my heart.