WARNING….fostering a child is not easy. You are asked to unconditionally love a child that is not your own for an undetermined amount of time. You are asked to provide for them. To navigate their scary new life with them. You are asked to cart them around from appointment to appointment (believe me there are a lot). You are asked to treat them as one of your own. Sounds doable until the but comes…..ready for it….but you have no say in that child’s life whatsoever. Most parents are given a year to work their parenting plan. There are always those strange cases. I am talking generally here. A year to correct the reason to have the child removed. In that year they maintain full control over their child. If they say no haircuts….then no haircuts. If they say you can’t take the child out of state…you can’t take that child out of state. No ears pierced. No cell phone. No social media if old enough. Most cases the foster parents are the last to know about anything. In our case we were lucky. We had a wonderful caseworker who kept us informed as much as she could legally. We had a fantastic CASA worker who kept our foster kiddo’s needs as her top priority. But even with a great team we still were not a party to the case. We were allowed to enter the courtroom for hearings and such but we had to sit by and watch it all play out. All the while keep loving on a child that could be removed. In our case, the parents were not able to complete the parenting plan. Sadly as the year passed it was clear that reunification was not an option. We are awaiting our adoption date as I write this! We are one of the lucky ones. We laughed. We cried. We prayed. We held hands. We cleaned up messes. We encouraged. We spent money. We taxied around. Here comes another but…BUT WE LOVED! Unconditional love. The kind of love that can restore broken hearts. The kind of love that can mend a wounded soul. The kind of love that makes a family!