All the Words I Cannot Say

As a pastor, former foster parent, and adoptive parent, people say to me all the time, “You must have so many stories. You could write a book some day.” Which is true, I have a lot of stories, the thing is, only a few of them are fully mine to share.

I’ve had so many thoughts in my head about foster care and adoption that I’ve wanted to get out. But then I remember that I’m not the main character in those stories. I’ve been afraid that I would share pieces that weren’t mine, so I stopped writing for a bit. And by stopped writing, I mean blogging – I still write a sermon each week.

Time has helped me sort out what pieces are mine to share, so does more sleep. When we first brought E home, people had so many questions, and sometimes in my sleep deprived state I gave too much away. Most of the time it was people who care and just wanted to be a part of the story, or wanted to ask questions they’d ask about any child. Other times, it was folks who I didn’t know well enough for them to ask the things they asked. Often people want a short answer for a big question, such as “why would someone make an adoption plan for their child?” And there really are easy short answers for big questions.

But I still have all these words inside of me. We leaned a lot as foster parents. There are things now I’d do differently. Do I think we were doing the best we could with the resources we had at that time? Yes. But as Maya Angelou said, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

So I hope to write more again, and share anything that might be useful – useful for you to hear or useful for me to put down. But each story and each phrase I pray to turn over in my head and ask, “if this mine to share?” Because it’s a terrible feeling to leave a conversation kicking yourself saying “too much, too much, too much.”

So here’s to just right, or maybe almost just enough. To all the words I can say, that honor all the words I cannot. Here’s to the people and children who I am honored to cross paths with – I am so glad to be a part of your story and you a part of mine.

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