Is love ever wasted?

About a year ago my wife and I got started doing foster care. For all sorts of prudent reasons it probably wasn’t a good decision for us to get into it at this time, but that is hindsight talking. Our hearts were in the right place though. We just wanted to love some kids who were intough spots. Maybe even help some parents out along the way if we could. If adoption was an option all the better, just get to love them longer or something like that.

A year later, after lots of stress and frustration, as the foster daughter who has been living with us for about the last seven months is set to leave within a few days, and my wife and I just had a big fight that I think came about because we are both having a really hard time processing the guilt we feel about choosing to have her placed in a different home, I have the lyrics from a Coldplay song on repeat in my head.

“When you love someone and it goes to waste”

We wonder if we have done any good at all. We don’t feel better off. This doesn’t appear to have been a beneficial for our two young boys. Have any of the kids who have stayed with us been impacted for the better in a lasting way by their time with us? As much as that idea is something I’d like to believe, there just isn’t much to grasp on to that helps me feel that such hope is realistic.

Maybe at the least some valuable lessons? Probably, but maybe now it’s too soon to be able to see any but the most cynical sounding ones. This is has to be the most effort I have ever put forth on something that felt like such a fruitless endeavor.

Not consciously so much, but I had this conception before that making effort to love people can’t really be wasted. That has been shaken. I find myself dancing between self flagellating and excusing myself from responsibility. It can’t be just a waste, can it? If I can pinpoint the exact matrix of the reasons it all went sour would it really make me feel better? Is that why I am writing this?

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