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Going Home – A “Happy” Ending

SadIf we were really happy, we wouldn’t be so sad. We’ve both already cried today and it just about made it impossible to put on a happy face for Boy.

At 4pm, I got a call from his case manager that his parents were cleared for reunification with him this weekend. We are glad that he gets to leave “the system” now and have spent some quality time with his parents recently, so we know more of what he’s going back home to – rather than reports, hearsay, and a butt-load of “he said, she said” from various parties.

They absolutely want us to continue to be a part of his life because they feel that to never see us again after 6 months of constant care and attention would only further damage him. We whole-heartedly agree. We’ll definitely need wisdom to know when and how much, but they have (more than once) suggested weekends or vacations.

Future possibilities

How cool would that be?! We foster a boy from 2 1/2 to just past his 3rd birthday, take him from pointing and saying one word to ABCs, 1-10, Jesus Loves Me, using his imagination to play with his tractors (John Deere, of course), and climbing our stairs like a pro… let him fly away like a dove, but then get to watch him grow up.

I’m beyond words and I will be for a long time about how he’s changed us and how we’ve changed him. When it’s bedtime and he’s not ready to sleep yet, we can hear him singing and counting and then – wait for it – cheering himself on when he gets to the end!

Almost all of the food issues, separation issues, peace and safety issues and hitting, kicking, and biting have stopped. He’ll occasionally regress to a scary place in his mind and get quiet as he tries to make sense of where we’re going or why Jesse yelled “OUCH” as the wooden fire truck corner scrapes away a layer of skin off his shin.

Our last week

We took him out to dinner as a family tonight for the first time since we’ve had him. He really liked it! I’m taking the rest of the week off to be devoted to ensure that his transition home is as smooth as it can be.

I’d be proud to call him “son.” Man, I’m glad this isn’t on video… I’m a wreck writing this. He is so smart and nurturing with a memory far exceeding either of ours. But we both know from training that it won’t take much for him to fail in life.

We’re going to take a several week or several month break after this. We aren’t like normal foster parents who run their house like a dormitory or a puppy mill for foster kids. He was our only child for 6 whole months. Our daily activities revolved around him. We will never be the same.

Truly blessed. Lots of lessons learned for later posts.


  1. Hurting for you and with you! Sending you love and hugs, Mom

  2. Kristi Bowers says

    I cannot imagine how heartbreaking it will be to say goodbye. Praying for you to be able to stay connected.

  3. Oh boy, I cannot imagine how you feel. As I told you Jesse, my FIL fostered a little boy and they are still in close contact with him – he’s now 11. I hope the same for you.

  4. Megan Murray says

    I truly can’t imagine how you are feeling right now. Just know that I am thinking of you guys and sending hugs your way. A has been a big part of your life for awhile, and I think it’s more than appropriate for you two to spend whatever time you need grieving. Ugh, my heart is breaking for you two.

  5. Oh man, Jesse and Kristin! This post about brought tears to my eyes. I am so sad for you guys to be losing your sweet foster son, but also glad that things have turned around enough in his home life for him to go home. I’ll be praying for all of you.

  6. Sherri Schloss says

    What a blessing you both have been in this little boy’s life. These little ones can wrap themselves around your heart and it’s hard to give them back–especially when things are less than ideal.  It takes a lot of courage to be a foster parent–the courage to love and the courage to hurt.  Bless you both as you adjust.  I believe  “Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these…ye have done it unto me.”

    • Thanks, Sherri. When we started, a number of people said to me, “I couldn’t do that,” and we thought it was because they were coming from a place where they couldn’t give up their own kids. Now we’re not sure how well *we* can do this – it’s the hardest thing we’ve ever done so far… and he still has 2 more days with us.

      Saturday morning is going to be the worst day of our lives – hands down.
      They told us in training: “The better job you do, the more it will hurt.” We must have done a job well done, then, because this is breaking our hearts almost hourly.

  7. Talk about mixed feelings!!