Amber Davis wouldn't wish the pain of saying goodbye on anyone, but she would do it again and again to provide a loving, temporary home for foster children.
Amber Davis knows only too well that opening up your heart and home to foster a child is one of the greatest gifts you can give, no matter how devastating it is when it's eventually time to let go. After the North Carolina mom spent the last six months caring for a baby girl, she described her anguish in an excruciating yet poetic post for Love What Matters last weekend when it was time to finally say goodbye.
"We lost the fight," she began. "And by 'lost' I mean I didn't get what I wanted. My white picket fence has a hole in it and she's gone."
The sweet mama went on to explain how she made sure the little girl smelled of lavender before she left, and then filled her favorite sippy cup with half water, half apple juice for the ride to her new home for a bit of comfort. "Told her I loved her and purposely made her holler and squirm from being hugged too tight," she wrote. "She likes to give hugs, but hates being restrained in one. I wonder how long it'll take her new family to figure that out."
So bittersweet! Davis also described some of the other things she'd come to know and love about the little girl—like the fact that she needs a soft pillow to sleep well at night, and that a fist bump before going to bed makes her giggle. And while her grief is apparent in every single nostalgic word, it was trying to explain why the baby was leaving to her 4-year-old son that finally broke her down.
"Josiah asked why I was packing up her things last night," she explained. "As I fumbled my way through an explanation about needing to go live and be together with her sisters...I could see the look of confusion on his face...'but we're her brothers.' My brain scrambled for another answer, but I blanked. So instead I changed the subject. 'The good news is that Avonlea will be born soon and you'll have another sister to play with! And you will be her big brother and she will always live with us.' I could tell by the look on his face that my lame attempt at explaining things had failed to add up. It just doesn't make sense. Not to him and...frankly...not to me, either."
It's clear that Davis' heartbreak is overwhelming right now. But while she says the tears just won't stop, she also says that the pain—which she wouldn't wish on her worst enemy—is worth it in the end.
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"So the next time I see that all-too-familiar phone number pop up on my caller ID, asking if we are willing and able to open up our hearts and take in another child who needs us to sacrifice everything we have in order to love them for an undetermined amount of time...I already know what my answer will be," she said. "Absolutely. Let's do this. For 6 months or for forever...we're in."
Beautiful words from a beautiful heart.
Hollee Actman Becker is a freelance writer, blogger, and mom of two who writes about parenting and pop culture. Check out her website holleeactmanbecker.com for more, and then follow her on Instagram and Twitter.