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It's been a hot minute.

It's been a bit since I've blogged. Not for lack of things to say. Not for not wanting to blog.

There's just been a lot going on.

We have a placement right now and it's really, really hard but also amazing.

Our placement is 3 months older to the day than Evelyn, so it's been like having two year old twins.

And that's been amazing and challenging all rolled into one.

But the hard part hasn't been their ages. The hard part is the fact that this placement is really putting into action what I believe in my head about reunification.

You see I started sharing our story and teaching about early trauma and attachment because when we struggled, the only resources I could find were from a clinical perspective.

This family picture was taken a couple of weeks before our newest love moved in.

People making suggestions because they studied trauma. They studied attachment. But they had never lived with a child out of control in their home. And well that just hits different.

I believe in reunification.

I believe strongly that the WHOLE POINT of foster care is family preservation.

I believe that sometimes birth families just need extra help.

It hits different though when there's a little one in your home that you are so completely in love with. That just fits perfectly into your family dynamic. Whom you love so deeply that the thought of her returning to her mom breaks your heart and makes you cry whenever you think about it.

So I've been a little silent.

So I've been a little withdrawn.

I'm learning a lot about myself and the way I handle things that are hard.

I'm like a turtle going back into my shell and praying that my shell is strong enough to protect me. To carry me through.

It's quite something to live in these polarizing feelings.

To love so deeply.

To want her to stay forever.

But also to be rooting so hard for mom to turn things around.

For reunification.

It's messy.

It's hard.

But it's our calling.

And that makes me wonder. Maybe I'm alone in this thought. But why, oh why do we think that we're only supposed to feel one thing at a time. I have to be either happy or sad. I can't feel both around the same thing.

As foster parents we get so butt hurt if our kids miss their birth family. We take it so personally, when frankly it has nothing to do with us.

But it's quite possible for them to miss their birth family and love their right now family.

To feel equal parts sad about the loss they've endured and happy about where they are today. Their sadness is not a direct attack on us or our parenting. Simply, it's not even about us.

To wish for a normal life, but also be grateful for the one they have now.

Let's normalize dual feelings.

Let's allow our child space and time to grieve while also teaching them about gratitude.

Let's model it for them.

My oldest two are adopted and I have said to them many times that our foster child is likely going home and I'm so proud of birth mom for the work that she is doing. AND I feel so sad for us. We're really going to miss little love in our home.

If our kids don't learn that feeling two feelings simultaneously is okay, they'll learn to regress one feeling. Or not share how they truly feel. And that's the greatest danger of all.

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