I’ve been away from here for a while, for many reasons, one of which is that I became a foster parent four months ago. B.C. (not his real initials) came to live here on October 1st last year. He was four then and he’s five now. There is much to write about those four months, and about every day of this strange journey of foster parenting. Tonight, though, I keep thinking about B.C.’s heart — his red-foil-covered chocolate Valentine heart.
Last week, B.C. received an early Valentine’s Day gift that was supposed to hold seven small Nestle Crunch hearts. Much to his delight, it held eight! He announced that I should have the eighth heart, and stuck to his guns even when I reminded him I have a “new food plan” that means I won’t eat that chocolate heart for three weeks. I figured his enthusiasm would fade as that heart sat on the counter for a few days.
Last night, B.C. suddenly asked, “Can I give that chocolate to my mom?”
“Sure you can,” I said.
“I want to unwrap it, cut the chocolate in half, and then put the wrapper back on so you can have half and my Mommy can have half.” After a short encouragement to go ahead and give his mom the chocolate, he said, “I want you to have half because you’re so nice to me,” with a little quiver in his voice.
I held B.C. close and told him what a sweet, sweet boy he is. The whole exchange took only moments. This morning, he gave in to his desire to eat that chocolate once he knew he could buy his mom another Valentine. Still, I keep going back to those moments last night. Is there a better picture of what this little boy must endure all the time? His heart is cut in half, or more likely in all kinds of pieces, without any smooth edges. I love him; my family and friends love him. And yet, as helpful as we hope that love is, it also adds to B.C.’s confusion, ambivalence, pain, and struggle. He likes living here and he aches to go home. I don’t know what to do except to ache with him.
Father, You know this little boy’s heart — every hurting, wounded piece, every delighted, singing-for-joy piece. Have mercy. Please protect and hold close and heal. Thy will be done. Oh, God, have mercy!
If you are one who prays, please pray for B.C. today.
5 responses to “A Heart Cut in Two”
Leanne, this is such a beautifully poignant story. You are such a wonderful fosters mother to be able to love him in a way he feels and trusts while still giving him the freedom to love his own mother. In spite of his pain, he is blessed to have you in his life. You are both in my prayers.
I can’t imagine a bigger human heart to hold every piece of his than yours!
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What a sweet image you have shared of your relationship with this precious and loved-by-God child. I can see the Father’s heart in this, in you.
I am so thankful that God brought him to you and that you are faithful to lead him to the one who can heal his heart and give him a forever home. Praying His strength for you bohas you continue on this painful journey.
thank you for the transparency, for letting us into your life and journey withlittle BC. I can see and somewhat feel the pain and the passion that you describe in this story.