This four letter word seems to be what everyone tends to seek but just like the formation of a pearl it's rather difficult and doesn't happen by itself. A pearl forms when an unknown irritant - usually a parasite - works its way into a clam’s mouth. As a defense mechanism, a fluid is used to coat the irritant. Layer upon layer of this coating, called 'nacre,' is deposited until a lustrous pearl is formed. To get this pearl one must first search the very depths of the sea to retrieve it. And then wrestle ever so hard to get that clam's mouth open.
So, for a foster kid, who’s been from home to home, rejection after rejection, abuse and suffering, they become this clam of love. Hardened by life and closed shut, not to let anyone in or open them. For everyone wants this pearl of love.
This is what it means to love a foster child. You can't expect them to welcome you freely and open their mouths and just give their treasure away. You must put in the work. Many times the work is difficult, it may even seem impossible. But remember they are clams of love and hidden within them is a pearl. Once they release and reveal themselves, the treasure is beyond value and worth the work.