Just got the call. Can we take an emergency placement? My brain instantly goes into, “can I do this mode”. I start thinking to myself, what does my week look like? Swim lessons five days this week, pre scheduled play date tomorrow, I haven’t been grocery shopping in two weeks, the house is a mess, I just got the baby stuff put away from our last placement… Deep breath… I can do this… Oh and it’s 4th of July weekend… Crap, well it’s going to look different than how I imagined it might look this year. Hmmmm… “Yes. We can.”
My motto lately has been we can do anything for a few days. The last baby was a preemie and had to be fed every two hours. 12 feedings a day. Hard feedings. We survived.
I can already see it coming. You know how the energy just shifts sometimes and you can tell what people are thinking without them ever saying a word? The questions, the concerns, the well intentioned but stinging words of why are you doing this. I get where you are coming from. We have the “perfect” family. One boy, one girl. We really have it made. Our daughter just started walking a few months ago and life really just got a lot easier. Her new found independence has made getting out and about such a breeze. Bottles and middle night feedings are a forgotten memory. My kids have a great nap schedule and can now participate in all sorts of activities. Everything is so fun right now! I mean really… Life is good. So I can tell when the questions start coming of why we are still fostering, I know exactly where they are coming from. You got it made. You were able to adopt your first two full time placements. You finished what you set out to do. It’s time to jump ship. Take a break. Enjoy.
Except…. We aren’t done. The truth is long before I knew infertility was a part of our story I was online in my very first apartment looking up the age requirement to become a foster parent. Long before I ever thought of building my family through foster care and adoption, the desire to help kids was laid on my heart. I’m pretty sure most of my friends were not even thinking kids back when I first started dreaming of being a foster family. It was never about just adopting. It was ALWAYS about serving. Their adoptions were just the best bonus ever.
And then there are my kids. My sweet kids who along side my husband and myself, are fostering right along with us. I can see it, feel it. You are worried about what fostering will do to my kids. They will get attached. It’s true. They need your quality time. Yep. They might miss an activity or two, their schedule will be messed up, they might get jealous… Yes that too. Or worse. I know you’re thinking it. Our last placement has been gone way longer than she was in our home and my son still asks about her daily. When he sees any baby pictures he tells me that they are of baby Tori. He asks me almost everyday if baby Tori is with her Mommy. He misses her. And though it breaks my heart to know he will feel that loss, I know the benefit of a childhood filled with helping others will be huge for him and his sister. I think there are beautiful lessons waiting to be learned about sharing, giving, loving, protecting, accepting, and so on. I truly believe that God created me to be a foster mom, he sent me a husband who has the same desire to step in a love kids like I do, and I know and pray every night that he will equip our children to do the same.
I know from the outside to our friends and family it may seem sometime like we should just appreciate how wonderful and simple things are right now, and we do. But just know we can’t honor our family and honor who we are and just ignore the deep desires of our hearts to serve our community in this way. It’s just a part of who we are. I know you mean well and I know you want to protect us from the heartache and discomfort that may come in this season of our life. Thank you so much for loving us and wanting to do that. But what we really need is just your love and understanding. Your positive words and even when it doesn’t make sense, trust that we are exactly where we are meant to be, doing what we were created to do. There will come a time where our job is done, or a season where we will find a need for rest, and we will do just that. Until then sit back and enjoy the show, or jump in!!! It’s a wild ride, but I don’t think it’s one you would regret.