Are there days when you just want to say “no?”
Part of me has really tried to avoid this question. I didn’t want to answer it honestly. I didn’t want to answer it in front of anyone. I almost took it off the list. I didn’t want to talk about it all. This post has brought up a lot of hurt inside. But if I don’t answer it honestly, I won’t be doing any service to this series.
There are many days when I want to say no. Don’t we all have those moments at times as parents? Some days, it seems just too hard. Some days, the devil really tries to convince us that we are incapable of doing any good and we should just quit.
But those are the easy days. Those are the normal days. Those are the days that everyone has. We want to say no to our jobs,to our marriage, to our kids, to cooking and cleaning, and just take a vacation. Not forever, but just a while. Does anyone else experience this? Please say yes, because I truly feel like it’s normal.
I don’t think that’s the answer to this question, though. This question is specifically related to foster care.
The answer is the same, though. And yet, all different at the same time.
You see, we did say no. Thankfully, it was for only a month. But when we said no, we didn’t know how long that no would be. We didn’t have an end date. We didn’t really see a light at the end of the tunnel.
I’ve mentioned before that our first placement was one-year-old twins. It was love at first sight. I can distinctly remember seeing them for the first time.
The first couple of weeks was very hard. We went from having no kids, to having two at the same time. It was incredibly difficult, and at the same time, we loved every minute. Every new moment was confirmation that we were doing the very thing we were meant to do.
We were all getting adjusted, they were loving school, and we felt normal. (After going from zero kids to two one-yr-olds, “normal” was just a word. But we felt confident that we had worked out a system and routine in which we were all thriving.) Then, one day, Cody and I were home for lunch. Our caseworker called and said that someone would be at our house in two hours to pick up the kids. It was like a punch in the stomach.
We were devastated.
We were confused.
We were attached.
What were we supposed to do?
We drove to the daycare and picked up the kids, explaining the situation to their teacher. We got back home, packed up some clothes and toys that they liked, and spent some time just playing with them. Then we had to put them in the caseworker’s car, and say goodbye forever.
Immediately, I thought, “I’m never doing this again.”
Oh sure. Out loud I was saying things like, “This is part of the deal.” “We knew this was possible.” “ Of course it’s hard, but it’s the right thing.”
Truly, though? I didn’t really believe the things I was saying.
We closed the door to the nursery and didn’t open it again for over a month. Their dirty clothes were still in the hamper. I didn’t think we could keep doing it. I wasn’t sure we would keep doing it.
We knew that we needed time to heal, so we said, “no.”
We didn’t allow any calls or placements. We gave ourselves space to heal. It was a long month.
And then the Lord sent us our current placement, who we are working towards adopting. If we hadn’t taken the time to rest and heal, we may have missed him. I can’t bear to think about it.
We said “no” that lead us to a much better “yes.”
We knew that what we were doing was a calling. And sometimes, we’re called to do really hard things. And we knew if said “no” forever, we would be giving up for selfish reasons. But if we kept going, we were continuing for them. For all the kids in the system. For every call we get. And that matters.
Thankfully, we don’t do any of this alone. We don’t walk this journey without the company of our incredible community, the love of our supportive family, and strength of our Jesus.