Foster Siblings: How Little Hearts Hurt

I call you the crazy one. the wild child. the spark plug. elie bug. lucy (we still don’t know why I call you that…just roll with it).

You’re always full of sass. We jokingly say that when you are old enough, we’re shipping you off to Uganda to live on the red dirt roads. That mostly stems from the long season you had with your affection for being naked. ALL. THE. TIME.

elin crazy

You sure have enough energy to live life with that kind of reckless abandon. You have a jekyll and hyde thing going on. You are tender one moment and ferrocious the next. It’s intriguing. You’ll be someone’s greatest advocate one day-I know it.

But you’re four years old. A lot can change in a little lifetime.

I mostly just look at you now. I hold you at night in the dark while your big, wondrous eyes give way to the heaviness of your day. You suck your thumb and gently rub mine with your other hand. You have a softness that is comforting. The way you look lying next to me makes me stop and breathe you in.

You were the baby for a short time. Our number three. After being so sick after delivering your brother, you almost didn’t happen. We were done. I was done. But faith and hope changed that. So here you are, trying to find your place in the world. You were our baby- the youngest…but only for a small window of time. Just before your second birthday, our first foster baby found her way into our home and hearts. For almost a year, you were her big sister. Then your biological brother arrived a few weeks before she moved away and your time as our official baby was gone forever.

You don’t completely understand our family’s calling in this mess of foster care. You didn’t sign up to be bounced around in birth order. You would probably say no to another kid in the family at times. And you certainly want me all to yourself.

Sometimes you ask to be the baby again, and I wince. I wonder if we are doing things the right way. I wonder if this is the right time, the right season, the right moment in our lives to be taking in broken children and loving crumbling families.

Then God gently reminds me that He indeed called us. Not just your daddy and me, but our whole family. He called you too. and He sees you, sweet baby girl…and so do I.

Last weekend, I had to drop baby G off for a visit with his bio family. As we drove off, you were staring out the window and I asked you what was wrong. You turned your head slowly my way with a sadness in your eyes that made me hold my breath as I awaited your response. You said you just needed him back.

I gripped the steering wheel but I couldn’t find wise words. So I just muttered, “I know” as a tear tumbled down my cheek.

I know these moments are hard and I never intended to break your heart, but its going to break. Its going to hurt. And ache. And long for what you can never have again. And I hate that. I want to soften the blow or block it altogether. But I can’t. I can’t make the pain disappear or the hurt never happen.

But I can trust in a God that is so much bigger than all of this. I can trust him with your four-year-old heart. I can trust him to hold you when I can’t. When I am busy rocking someone else’s baby to sleep, I can trust him to whisper in your ear that you are safe and you belong. I can trust him to shape your heart to serve and love and give.

I can trust a God who is faithful, with the things I hold the tightest.

People so often ask me if I am afraid of how fostering will affect my own kids.  Truth is, I’m more afraid of how they’ll be affected if we don’t live out our calling in obedience and surrender. 

This journey is filled with brokenness and pain. Sometimes its thrown upon you and the weight of it all seems like it will crack your tiny frame. I know you don’t understand. You can’t see what I see.

But you can trust me.

You can trust Him.

Be brave, little lucy. My heart could never love you with a deeper, stronger or fiercer love.

Your little soul is safe in his arms while mine are filled with others.

blue eyed elin


  1. Debbie | 21st Jan 15

    I call her my buttercup..spark of life..little firecracker..Elie and lately “sunshine in the middle of a hurricane”!…our perfect storm! 😉
    God certainly has a great calling for her …from the age of 3 you ALWAYS wanted to a “big sister” or Mommie … And look where God has lead you now!

    You ripped my heart out at 6:45 this morning!!
    Such a difficult time for all of you and those precious little hearts that really don’t quite understand….but one day they will! I love the way they unconditionally accept and cherish each new child you bring into your home…we them ALL!!!
    kiss kiss my babies, <3 Mia

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