One of the most frequent questions I am asked while being a foster mom/temporary legal guardian is, “how do you let the children go? ” Many follow-up with, “it would be too hard for me” or “I would just want to keep them.”
In the past four days, I have sent one year old Berenice and six year old Astrid, home to their families, in Honduras. Berenice was here for only six weeks, but it was a very intense period of time because she underwent a heart catheterization and open heart surgery, spending more than a week in the pediatric intensive care unit at Tufts Medical Center. There were some very frightening moments during Bee’s stay in the hospital, and I often thought of her family far away, and how fortunate I was that they trusted me with her care.
Astrid was here for four months, and was hospitalized for two surgeries on her foot. Although the surgeries were less frightening for me, the months of having a young child in a full length (non weight bearing) cast were fairly demanding. During this time, Astrid did not complain once of the inconvenience or pain she endured. Not only could we witness the physical changes, we watched her master the English language and grow emotionally and academically.
Although “the girls” really became a part of our family, I have such a sense of peace in saying “farewell” to them. I really believe that I have done what I was “called to do”, and am now sending them back, to where they truly belong. It is also reassuring knowing that I will see them in June, and they will forever remain in our hearts.