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This is Us: Episode 10 – Goodbyes lead to great opportunities 

It was time for Deja to return home. Her mom had completed what the county was requiring her to.  Again, it’s important to remember that it’s a television show and it’s a bit more complicated then just making sure the fridge is stocked for a child to return home, but nevertheless there were some amazing moments that we have to praise NBC for in this episode.

Randall and Beth were ready to fight to keep Deja, feeling it was in her best interest for her to remain with them and not return home to her mother yet.  As many foster parents do, they felt they were looking out for their foster child’s best interests. It wasn’t until Randall decided to visit Deja’s mother’s home and saw her from his car, unloading groceries and packages. She had gone shopping for Deja to prepare for her to come home. Afterwards he went to find Beth, and told her that she was carrying a lot of purple items and admitted he didn’t know Deja’s favorite color, and Beth acknowledged that neither did she. “She had this whole world spinning before us, and I saw that and just like that it was…” said Randall.  They talk about missing her and how hard this is going to be to say goodbye. But inevitably they support the reunification because they begin to believe in their hearts that this is what’s best for Deja. She belongs home with her mom.

There is truly nothing easy about foster care. Foster parents don’t know what happened or existed before the children enter their home, and biological parents don’t know what happens when their children are in the care of a stranger. This is where fear enters. Fear of what happened before the child came to you.  Fear of what is happening while the child is in someone else’s care.

I could write pages on fear. Fear is crippling, debilitating. Fear clouds our thinking, our judgment. It puts our defenses up and the things we are afraid of immediately become enemies, without sometimes ever laying a single eye on them. Fear takes away our logic, takes away our empathy and leaves us with dark thoughts and hurtful hearts.

Beth and Randall decide to walk past that fear, the fear of the unknown and what was to come for Deja in returning to her mom, and move to a place of faith. They believed that Deja was going to be ok, that they gave her all the love and support they could in the time she was with them, and that they loved her the best way they know how, by letting her go.

And we see the walls of fear break down a bit when Deja’s mom came to get her. She thanked Beth and Randall for taking care of her daughter, a sentiment that I was so happy This Is Us showed because a thank you can go a long way, especially to foster parents. Deja then told Randall, “Remember when we first met and you told me when you were a kid you always felt split inside? I don’t want you to think just because I want to go home doesn’t mean I don’t like living with you.  I know my mother does some stupid stuff sometimes but mostly she’s cool.”  Deja needed Randall to know she was going to be ok. That he didn’t need to be afraid for her.  And again, we see a beautiful demonstration of how love can help us overcome fear.

And the best part of the episode? Beth and Randall decide to foster again. Beth- “We have a good home, we should bring another child into it, even it means losing them all over again.” Randall- “There’s another kid out there who needs us.”

And they are right. There absolutely is.