She was moving on.
They loved her.
They will always love her.
Foster care is about loving well, and then letting go.
Because a foster parent knows that each moment counts…
…And each child is worth the risk of having a piece of your heart leave with them.
They searched for her things,
the clothes that matched her doll set,
the pieces to her puzzle,
the pink socks with the little satin bow.
Her life was being moved again.
She was only 18 months old, yet this would be her 4th home.
For the past six months she shared meals and toys.
She called Her “mama.”
She had siblings,
and a grandma
and an uncle.
She was loved well.
She was family.
And the truth is, she will still be loved.
She will always be family.
But, the life of a child in foster care is uncertain.
Movements happen suddenly.
We gathered around her, this final night;
all of us a part of her life in a small way.
I watched as my dear friend brought her into her family as her daughter.
I marveled at the sacrifices and the dedication she made every day.
This evening some close friends gathered as we often do; but tonight it was for one very specific purpose: to say good-bye.
We wanted to send her off, adorned in prayers and blessings.
We wanted to honor her family for loving well.
This night, as we gathered around her, she sat happily in her high chair, unaware of the ritual that was taking place.
We prayed for her future, her next home.
We prayed for her protection, for her health.
We prayed that she would know love every day of her life.
We sent her off with the energy of love and hope surrounding her.
May 11, 2019 was the 3rd annual With Love Benefit dinner. I attended for my third year in a row and proudly sat next to my friends who gave this little girl a home and a hope for the past six months.
As the theme so beautifully described, this was truly an evening to elevate foster care.
One again, the Portland Golf Club provided stunning ambience for a truly incredible event.
Guests were greeted at the door; they were then ushered to one of three lines where they were given a real life story about a child in foster care. The stories were eye opening to the needs and situations within the foster care system.
This highlighted the important role With Love plays in the life of the foster family and foster child. They are on the front lines with the foster families, providing for every material need.
There was so much hope in that room. Guests heard stories from foster families, and it was a true testament to the work that is being done in this community.
The tables were decorated by the silhouettes of children in foster care. They were chosen because that night they had their foster parent in that room.
Foster parents were truly celebrated.
The successes of last year were highlight and applauded.
The goals and dreams of this year were presented.
It is a new season of growth, and it is obvious With Love has the power of the community behind them.
I left feeling positive and hopeful.
Every child deserves love.
With Love, all things are possible.