Chronicles of a Foster Family: Feeling like Mary Poppins


September 9, 2014 by greenhouse04

In six days we’ll say our final goodbye to Baby M.

My first reaction to this knowledge is relief. We’ve known this would eventually happen since May, and the weeks and months since then have gotten longer and longer as we’ve waited for reintegration. I’m relieved he’ll finally be where he’s supposed to be. I’m relieved that I’ll be able to grieve, then move on with my life. I’m relieved the waiting will be over.

Of course, I feel sad. I look deep into Baby M.’s dark eyes, and see the love and trust in his own, and I feel sad. I watch him stick his round bottom in the air as he tries to stand, and I feel sad. I watch as he sticks his tongue out in concentration as he makes a beeline for a new toy, and I feel sad. If I let myself, I feel sad every time I interact with him: when I stick the spoonful of baby food in his open mouth; when we play peek-a-boo; when he sleeps on my lap late at night; when he “winks” at me with both eyes; when he waves at me in delight.

But, even while I’m feeling sad, I also feel thankful. I am thankful that we have successfully helped another child reunite with his birth family. I am very thankful that he has a loving, committed birth family with which to be reunited. After months of watching, I do not doubt his dad’s love and dedication. His dad will do what is best for his son. Most of all, I’m thankful the Lord continues to protect and provide for this precious boy.


As I think about watching Baby M. be carried away in his father’s arms, I feel a bit like Mary Poppins as she watched her little charges walk down the street with their father at the end of the movie. As she’s watching, her Parrot umbrella starts talking to her. This is what they say:

“Awk, that’s gratitude for you. Didn’t even say goodbye?” Mary Poppins responds, “No, they didn’t.”

Umbrella says, “Look at them! You know, they think more of their father than they do of you!”

“That’s as it should be.”

“Well, don’t you care?”

“Practically perfect people never permit sentiment to muddle their thinking,” replies Mary Poppins.

“Is that so? Well, I’ll tell you one thing, Mary Poppins: you don’t fool me a bit!”

“Oh, really?”

“Yes, really. I know exactly how you feel about these children, and if you think I’m going to keep my mouth shut any longer, I’ll…”

Mary Poppins clamps his mouth shut.

That will be quite enough of that, thank you.”

Mary Poppins2




One thought on “Chronicles of a Foster Family: Feeling like Mary Poppins

  1. Heidi Murray says:

    Thanks for sharing this!

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