• Kate Taylor

When I Leave

“I’m going to write stories about you in here so I don’t forget you guys when I leave.”

Those were the hardest words I’ve heard come out of my sweet little seven year old’s mouth since she moved in two months ago. She said it so matter-of-fact as she held up her new “Memories” scrapbook.

When I leave.

Oh, my heart. I don’t think she fully understood the weight of her words, But man, it took everything in me not to break down right there in front of her.️

In that one sentence, I realized the constant state of worry she must live in. What chaos! To not know when you might have to move again, or where you will end up is way too much for any child to handle. But this is her reality. This is foster care.

Sure, I can show her love and safety while she’s here, but the truth is, I am not in control of her future. Not at all.

When I leave.

My mind keeps pulling me back to this statement. Because I hadn’t really thought about it this time around. We've been living in our little “stay at home” bubble. How silly is that? We live our lives each day as if our foster kids are fully ours. We don’t think twice about the unknown. But there’s so much unknown. DCS could call us tonight and tell us they’re picking them up tomorrow.

These kids, our kids, are not actually ours at all.

So how do I ease her constant worry, help her feel secure and stable, show her the bright future she deserves, and still be honest with her? Because she’s not some point, she will probably leave.

Tonight as I tucked her in, did our family’s “secret handshake,” and kissed her on the forehead, I asked her if it would be ok if I wrote stories about her too so that I wouldn’t forget her if she leaves. “Of course, silly” she whispered back, with that cute little wink she always gives me.

So here I am, writing stories so that I won’t forget her. Not that I ever could. We love you, V.

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