We tearfully said our good-byes this morning after two weeks of being a family. In those moments I came to the conclusion, I would never be able to be a foster parent and give kids back. One of the girls sobbed on The Husband's shoulder, telling us she didn't want to go back, that she wanted to stay. My concern that now they knew another way of life was confirmed...they live at school on weekdays in China and only go home on weekends and breaks. They didn't know life to be any different until they came here. Now, after time together as a family sharing meals, playing games, swimming and going out for ice cream, they return back to China to resume a somewhat family-free life surrounded by their peers and teachers for the majority of their time. That just about breaks my heart.
With promises to keep in touch and someday meet again in the U.S. or China, we put them on their charter bus. A few weeks ago I would've thought that I would be filled with relief that I had two less kids to care for, but I didn't feel relief. There was a sense of loss, but overshadowing that was a comforting, peaceful feeling. This was good for all of us and we had some wonderful conversations about how much God loves them and that they are never alone. They returned with Bibles written in their native language and we covered them in prayer before they left.
Our lives were changed and I believe theirs were, also! I really hope we can see them again one day. They were very sweet and if it was actually legal to keep them, we would have!