Today I cried over potatoes.

Our 13-year-old foster daughter had been with us for seven months when her time in our home came to an abrupt end. Her case and time with us had been a roller coaster. We had gone from being an adoptive option for her, to finding out about a biological parent that no one even knew to look for. With the news of the paternity testing results, our girl began to spiral and entered a dangerous pattern of destructive choices. It was clear that we were unable to keep her safe in our home. The doctors at the hospital insisted on a longer term treatment.

We began to grieve. We grieved for her. For her brokenness. For her hurt. For her inability to see the bright possibilities her future held.

We grieved for us. We had no idea that the last time we had tucked her in would be the last time. That the last time I made her favorite meal would be the last time I ever would. There was no closure, no neat and clean goodbye. There was just…nothing.

We visited her in the hospital regularly and when she moved to the next facility we continued twice a week phone calls and once a week visits. Throughout this whole time we also continued to grow our relationship with her newly found biological father and his family. 

This is a perfect picture of God’s grace and redemption and perfect timing. And I’m so grateful that I got to be a part of it.

After some time had passed, the decision was made that she was ready to go across the country on a trial visit with her dad, proceeding the big move. But the day before the move was made we were offered to spend the whole day with her. 

In our home. Her home. 

We watched movies, ate Mexican food, worked on a scrapbook for her to take with her, snuggled the family pets and finally she and I headed into the kitchen and we worked side by side as I taught her how to make her favorite meal – potato soup. I stepped back for a moment and snapped a photo for me. She looked at me and sighed while rolling her eyes, “Mom. Stop it.” eye roll I said to my girl, “Hey, this is important to me. I need to remember this moment.” “Why?” She asked. “Because,” I answered, “it’s something I thought I had missed. And I’m so glad that I didn’t.” We proceeded to stand in the kitchen, clinging to one another and crying.

Her goodbye was incredibly emotional. And after literally hours of tears, I stood in the driveway and watched the car carrying my daughter…drive away. My pain so deep I could barely stand it. And I thought to myself, this is it. This is the absolute best case scenario in foster care. My girl is leaving with her biological parent who loves her so much and can provide for her and care for her and cherish her. And we kept her safe and loved her unconditionally until he was able to. We will continue to be in her life and have gained many more members to our family in the form of her half siblings and parents. This is a perfect picture of God’s grace and redemption and perfect timing. And I’m so grateful that I got to be a part of it.