This post is going to be the first part of a two part series (assuming I remember what the second post was gonna to be…)
I love to invest in people. I love to love on them, and help them, and care about them, and hopefully make a difference in their lives. I think that’s why I love working with kids so much. I love being able to love on them and teach them how to love people. But, with investing comes a price. A price that, to me, means quite a lot. The price, of loss.
Every time I invest in someone I know they aren’t going to be in my life forever, but I almost never remember that. When you love on people it’s hard to let them go. Even if it might be the right decision.
It seems a lot like fostering.* You take in these kids with every intention to love on them like they’re your own. You spend months, maybe even years, taking them to school, asking how their day was, playing with them, laughing with them. And then you get a call. The parents are ready to take the kids back. And they’re just, gone. You know it’s better for them to be with their parents if they can, but you’ve been with these kids for so long, you just don’t want to let go.
I’ve never felt that in a foster situation, but I’ve had plenty of people come, and go, and I’ve spent years wondering if they remember me. Wondering if I made a difference to them. Praying that I helped them in some way. And you know what? That’s all we can do. I’ve said multiple times that people come and go. So, with that in mind, I’ve tried to forget the pain of them leaving. I’ve tried to forget the fear of being forgotten. Because all we can do is do our best in the moment, and pray for the best.
A couple years ago, when I suddenly realized that some people will leave, I came to the conclusion that if I stop investing, and loving, I’ll never be hurt. I’ll never feel that loss of losing someone I care about. But when I started to get hugs from little kids who were genuinely happy to see me, and missed me, I realized that it’s worth it. Somethings are just worth feeling a little hurt for. I’m pretty sure you can ask any foster parent if it was worth it, bringing a little kid into your home only to leave again, and they’ll say yes. Those hugs and those happy moments make up for the pain you might feel.
Turns out I do remember what the second post will be about. So, instead of making this one stupid long, I’ll cut off here and continue another day. Stay tuned, kids.
Oh, and, if you have a happy memory, or any way that I’ve made an impact in your life, I’d love to hear it. Especially from those of you I haven’t seen/ talked to in a while. Feel free to comment below, or message me on Twitter.
*Please note that I’ve never been in a foster family, so I have no practical knowledge of any of this, but I know people who are foster families and I’ve read up on the subject. This story is simply meant to be used as an analogy.