Yesterday we had what's known as a "drop in visit." Honestly, those are the only visits we seem to ever get from the caseworkers, and that's fine... they have been so wonderful to us! The goal of these visits is for them to see how your house looks without it being prepared for a visit - and to see how the kids look randomly throughout the month. I was VERY excited that I had just cleaned my kitchen... as in just finished wiping the counters and starting the dishwasher when they knocked on the door. Thanks for that prompt, God!
During their check-ins they like to make sure all of the medicines are still locked away, that the smoke detectors are working, and that we still have the bedrooms how they are supposed to be. They also spend time with the children, talking with them and observing them in our home. It sounds very uptight when I write it out, but we laugh and chit-chat the entire time. It's amazing how some of the DHS staff becomes like your extended family!
Little Brother (now 22 months old) followed me around the whole time whining to be held. I'd oblige him and scoop him up, sensing that seeing the caseworkers brings up some uncomfortable feelings for him. I have to assume he is worrying, however a toddler his age would worry, that they might be there to take him away again.
The workers giggled at his behavior and saw his attachment to me and joked, "Uh oh.. that little guy isn't going to want to go home.."
I smiled, but inside I died just a little bit. I often worry about how he'll feel when/if he goes back. Now that he's in a safe, loving home... will it devastate him to leave? I know these are normal fears, normal worries, and common amongst foster parents. Many ask me how I deal with those thoughts. Honestly, I push them out of my mind. I can't go there. I tend to try to stick with the Bible's warning to basically worry only about today, because it has enough worries of its own.
So, for TODAY all of "my" kids are safe, cared for, loved, and secure. For TODAY God is calling us to be this family together. For TODAY I will rest in ease.. knowing that only one controls any of our fates. Only one chooses if any of these 6 children will remain in our care as each hour passes. As a good friend, Amy, once told me (and she is a fellow foster parent), "God never guarantees another day with your own children... don't let fear of loss stop you from parenting others who need you." Wise words...