Heavy Hearted Parenting

While most of the country grieves over the loss of a Downton Abbey fav in last night’s season finale (which I’ve yet to see, but know what happened), I sit here today grieving over the loss that is to come for our family tomorrow. We’ve been here before, in deep sadness the day before we thought Baby M would be moving on the next day, but I’m certain that tomorrow it is actually going to happen and I’m just pretty devastated.

I do not know how to parent without getting completely emotionally involved. I’m not sure parenting any other way is really parenting. I’ve heard other foster parents talk about their families like this, “We have four home grown, two hand picked, and three on loan for now,” and it’s cute, for sure, but I’m not yet able to voice it like that. I don’t know how to keep a newborn baby alive for a whole month and then give him back as though the last month never happened. It did happen and we will have the formula-stained blankets and residual baby laundry and empty bottles left behind to prove it, for weeks after he’s gone.

Here’s the deal: I know he’s not ours and that he’s never been ours and that all along this was the plan. But when it comes time for the plan to be played, reason is too big a risk. While listening to the Wicked Soundtrack in the car today, I heard Elphaba sing in Defying Gravity,

Too long I’ve been afraid of
Losing love I guess I’ve lost
Well, if that’s love
It comes at much too high a cost!

And, yes, even the fictional wicked witch can reduce me to tears when the timing is right, which it was earlier today.

This love – it is love – it comes at much too high a cost. And I have very little left in which to pay.

And once again I’m left with my own personal cliché, that I repeat over and over to myself, to my girls, and to every friend and stranger who looks me in the eyes and says this is something they could never do (as though my heart is made of stone and it’s easy for me): If it didn’t hurt so much, we didn’t do it right. But even that knowledge brings little comfort to me tonight.

Because it hurts, dammit. It just does. And the truth is, I don’t know how much more I can do this either.

Maybe that’s the point? That we really can’t do it on our own? That we must lean so heavily on God to parent through us, to love through us, to give back the babies through us? If only I could lean that heavily on God tonight. Maybe I am, but I don’t know it because I’m just sad. So very sad.


9 thoughts on “Heavy Hearted Parenting

  1. Kara says:

    I am so sorry sweet friend. I hurt for you. You did exactly what this wee one needed. You bonded. Deeply, closely, spiritually bonded with this sweet boy. One day he will walk taller, be more confident, know love because in his most venerable, you hugged, loved, looked into his eyes, prayed for his very soul. He did not languish in this month. He was worn, sung to, loved on, fought for, embraced. Job well done Dunhams! Praying.


  2. Rebecca says:

    Oh, I am so sad for you. My heart is heavy and there are tears of familiarity for you in this situation. You are doing this very RIGHT thing because it is what this child needed at just this time. The reality is that you are grieved right now–this is not easy whatsoever, but it is right. Let the rest of us cheer you on and pray for you while you cry. This intense sadness will not be with you forever. God is glorified.


  3. Aleyce says:

    Hi Megan,

    I can honestly say I am right here with you. My littlest foster placement…I call him Gingersnap because he is a redhead, well he was born New Year’s Eve. So he is almost 2 months old and I’m so scared to lose him. And to lose Baby Blues. She is turning 2 in just a couple weeks and almost in care for 6 months. I would love for us to be able go chat sometime. I just started blogging a few weeks ago and we have only been fostering since November officially. We started the process last Feb. It is very hard to let them go and I am hoping eventually we adopt. Is that your goal too?


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