Tales of Fostering

The Night She Tore Down My Wall

Mikayla on Bike

Last week, a close friend asked if I would miss Goldilocks when she returned home to her mother. My response was, “Ehh.”  This “Ehh” is the same answer I always give whenever I am asked if I will be sad when a child leaves our home to be returned to their family.  But please don’t get me wrong. I don’t say “Ehh” because I want my quiet mornings back. I don’t say “Ehh” because I’m tired of eating pretend sandwiches. I don’t say “Ehh” because I want to see an empty clothes hamper again. Or get back to my regular schedule. I say “Ehhh” because I have a wall built.

I constructed this wall in November 2012 when we welcomed our first child through the Safe Families for Children Program. This fortress doesn’t keep me from providing the love, care, and nurturing they need. It doesn’t stop me from giving lots of hugs, kisses, and smiles. It doesn’t keep me from coloring pictures, playing hide-n-go seek, or reading bedtime stories. But what this wall does is keep me from being too emotionally attached to their tiny fingers, sweet giggles, and lovable hugs. Goldilocks is the 7th child we have been able to love and care for through this program, and despite having her for 94 days, the fortress around my heart has stayed perfectly intact…that is until a few nights ago.

A few nights ago, the strong wall that has withstood all of the cute stories, funny looks, and Eskimo kisses, came crashing down. After our bedtime prayer, Daniel lovingly kissed her forehead and then walked out of the room, but I stayed for just a ‘sec.’ With my eyes closed, I could hear her whispering to her stuffed turtle and singing her ABC’s. It was adorable, and I couldn’t help but smile; but after about three minutes of Ms.Chatterbox chatting away, I heard her get quiet, and I felt her begin to shift as if getting comfier in her sheets. With my eyes still closed, I could feel her warm breath near my face, and I heard her sigh and then whisper, “Wisha? Wisha?”

Before I could open my eyes, I felt her soft hand stroke the side of my face as she moved my hair and quietly spoke the words, “Me love you.”  At that moment, my wall came down. I tried to stop it, but I couldn’t. I tried to hurry out of bed, but my body was frozen. Within seconds and without a moment’s notice, my heart became exposed, and I was vulnerable. I laid there for almost five minutes with tears pouring down my face, I tried to reconstruct my wall, but it was too late.

It’s been several days since she bulldozed my wall. Her giggles now penetrate me. Her smile now turns me into mush. When she gallops down the hallway, makes random animal sounds when she is alone in her room, or talks on her pretend phone, I can’t help but smile and get teary-eyed all at the same time.

Without my wall, it’s hard for me to put the toys away in her room, knowing that someday soon, I won’t be hunting down the other Barbie shoe, rearranging the books on the shelf, or organizing the blocks in the baskets.

Without my wall, I walk by her play kitchen, and the sounds of pots and pans clanging together in the morning as she makes eggs are now music to my ears. I can’t even take out the trash without zoning in on the little red wagon and not think about how I will one day not hear her chatting with me as we explore the neighborhood and creeks together.

A week ago, if you were to ask me how I felt about Goldilocks returning home, my response would have been, “Ehh.” But today, if you ask me the same question, I won’t respond. How can you when there is a large knot forming in your throat as you try to hold back the tears? Or a sick feeling that penetrates the deepest part of your core?

Six children have come and gone, but it was her, the seventh, who brought down my wall.

Do I regret her tearing down my wall? Not a bit. I learned that without my wall, I could love her on a deeper level. I can be more playful and have more patience to look past the small annoyances that come with raising a three-year-old.  Not having my wall enables me to hug her a little tighter and rock her a little longer. The only regret I have is not letting her bulldoze my wall earlier. I thought my wall was protecting me from getting hurt, but it was only keeping me from not just giving her more of my love but also experiencing all the love and joy she had to give me.

I believe that just like I built a wall around my heart to keep Goldilocks out, people have also built walls around their hearts, dreams, and even their perfectly laid out plans to keep God out. They fear He will come in and mess it up or destroy them altogether. They fear without a wall of protection, their hearts will become exposed and vulnerable to a deeper heartache and more disappointment, and their dreams and plans in life will become hijacked…bulldozed.

But just like I thought my wall was protecting me from being hurt by her, it was actually hindering me from experiencing life to the fullest. And friend, the same is true with our God. We think the wall we have built is protecting us, but it is actually holding us back. But the thing is this when we finally let go, when we finally open up and when we finally go ahead and tear down our walls, He can graciously come in and overflow our hearts with hope, as He lovingly directs our plans for Him to fulfill our dreams supernaturally. God wants to tear down some walls today. And you know what, friend? It’s okay to let Him.

With Love

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51 thoughts on “The Night She Tore Down My Wall”

    1. I also was hoping as I read this that some how goldilocks would get to stay forever!

  1. I always love your blogs but this is my favorite. You embraced your vulnerability and accepted her love even though you know her visit is temporary. I am proud of you and Dan. God bless you Elisha. I love you girlie.

  2. Elisha you are a Blessing never quit writing, blogging, and sharing! This blog was so heartfelt.

    1. Awe thanks girl! You will never ever know how much your support and encouragement mean to me! Your an awesome cheerleader!!

  3. Oh Elisha, this is heartbreakingly beautiful. I really feel for you and the position you’re in- love is painful, but there’s nothing like it to compare! I’m a believer in it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. I understand why you put the wall up- but love for Goldilocks- that’s worth taking it down for. I’ll be praying and praying for you as I know this is going to be so painful for you. How is Daniel doing?

  4. Goldilocks sounds precious. She’s so lucky to have you and to have your heart. Xoxo

  5. Absolutely beautiful. I am so blessed to know you and Dan. May God bless you both always. I pray God brings you a baby bird soon!!!!!

    1. Awe thanks so much Matt! I am so thankful to have met you and I can’t wait for the day when I can tell you that God has heard and answered your (our) prayers! You are awesome!!

  6. I have had a very similar experience! I worked in a children’s shelter for almost a year before this 2 year old princess broke through my bubble! In this job you had no choice but have a safety “bubble” around you at all times. Some of these children had already lived lives scarier than any horror film ever made. I cried all the way home from work on several occasions. I attempted to adopt this girl but at the last minute her case worker called. It appears GOD had better plans for her. I trusted HIM. That was almost 15 years ago and I still think of her often! May GOD bless you and your hubs a thousand times over for sharing your heart in such a painful yet rewarding way!

  7. Elisha, this was just beautiful. I think I would be putting up that wall as well, but life is so much better when we take it down and allow ourselves to love without fear of losing. I actually think that I put up this wall in a lot of my relationships for fear that I will lose them (for a long time, I was anxious about even getting married for fear it would end in divorce). This is a good word! Thanks so much for sharing and I’ll be praying for you guys with sweet little Goldilocks.

    1. Thanks so much girl! I have been wondering how you were doing. Thanks for updating on your blog 🙂 xox

  8. Such a beautiful and touching post! This child sounds so adorable. I think I would have had a hard time keeping a wall too. xx

  9. This post is just beautiful. This is why we are all trying so hard to become mothers: to hear the everyday music of a child. You describe it all so lovingly. I can feel your ache. That moment in the bed! Gah. Kills me. And the socks. You are strong and good to provide this love for her right now, this home. Letting the wall down is one of the bravest things a person can do. Much love to you.

  10. Aw she sounds adorable and how great would it be for her to be able to stay in your loving home. 🙂

    1. she is adorable! She really needs to return home thought :/ She has two other siblings in different homes and she really does miss her mommy.

  11. Awe, what a sweetheart you are and she must be also. There is seriously a special place in heaven reserved for you opening your home and your heart at the risk of becoming vulnerable. No doubt you are leaving a lasting imprint on this tiny little girl’s heart forever.

  12. Loved this one! It was so heartfelt and like others have said your vulnerability was felt through this entry. This was one of the hardest parts when I worked for SF was seeing the host family struggle to let go or were sad because it was time to part ways. But the amazing thing is that you and your husband planted seeds of love in her and she will never forget that feeling and who knows maybe one day you will reunite! Keep sharing, and making a difference! Love your blog! 🙂

  13. so sweet!!! It’s amazing how those little ones can tug at our heart <3 I know you are such a blessing to her, even more than she is to you! Thanks for sharing! xoxo

  14. Elisha, I just finished reading your blog, it brought tears to my eyes and made me so proud to know you. You and Daniel are amazing and will be wonderful parents one day. God has a special plan for you. Thinking of you!

  15. I don’t know who’s more adorable–Goldilocks for being such a precious little girl or you for being such a warm, loving person. Stay blessed Elisha, many hugs and lots of love!

  16. His grace and strength have done an amazing thing in your life. Great preparation! 🙂 Love how the wall came tumbling down, just like the wall at Jericho did after the 7th go-round. Thanks for always giving us MORE to ponder…

    1. I LOVE the story of the wall of Jericho coming down! It’s amazing testament of God’s almighty power and ability to do something so miraculous in such an unconventional and supernatural way.

  17. Elisha this is so amazingly powerful! I love this and I love that she tore down your wall! She is precious and she is in your home and your arms for a reason! Praying for you all!

  18. Hi Elisha, I am so impressed on how you dealt with the Goldilocks situation…this post is the most beautiful one I’ve read so far in your blog. I agree with you… vulnerability is an essential part of loving to the fullest! For some people being vulnerable may mean weakness, but it’s not! Being vulnerable means you’re not afraid to love! Letting yourself be vulnerable is the bravest thing any one could do, especially when we are in such a delicate situation with infertility. Without vulnerability you wouldn’t have connected with Goldilocks on the same level you did, and I know you’re thankful for that. This post is the one that really touched me, so I wanted to post your official nomination to the Liebster award here. http://lovecomamom.wordpress.com/2014/04/23/and-the-liebster-award-goes-to-taan-taan-taan-taaaaaan/

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