This is Foster Care

It’s Official – I’m a Licensed Foster Parent!

foster care, foster adopt, this is foster care, valerie harper motherhood quote

Here in Eastern North Carolina, we’ve got ourselves some snow & ice. Work closed early on Wednesday in advance of the storm. I got home around 12:30 in the afternoon and I’ve been here ever since.

It’s not such a bad thing to get some free days off of work {who is going to argue with that?} when I have a to do list that needs attending to. Before having my first foster child placed in my home, I had a list of things I wanted to organize or change.

foster care, this is foster care, foster adopt, kids bedrooms
I wanted to reorganize the kid’s bedrooms (two instead of one).

Working full time and being a single parent is going to require some juggling of course. What I didn’t want is for my messy, not really organized life, to get in the way. I know what I wanted to do to create a little more simplicity and organization around the house. The truth is . . . I’m a procrastinator and I just haven’t done it. Oops.

Now that I’ve been stuck at home, I’ve run out of excuses. 🙂 And it’s a good thing too because as I pulled into my driveway on Wednesday the 3rd, I received a text from my agency – I have been approved to be a foster parent {insert happy dance, here}!

foster care, foster adopt, this is foster care
A more organized linen closet! YES!
Foster Care, Foster adopt, this is foster care, kids rooms
The kids can pick out their sheets. And they can pick out lovies on their first night, too.

I can’t believe this day has finally come. It truly is about three decades in the making. I don’t have my CPR certification yet. I have to take a medication administration class, too. Both are requirements before I receive a first placement.

Those classes will both happen in January. So while a placement may still be a month away, I am so very close to having a kiddo living here with me. Whether I will be their mom for a time, or forever, I am already praying for him or her. I’m asking God to prepare my heart & home.

foster care, this is foster care, foster adopt

I have mentioned before that I am well aware – through training and my own reading – that my kids will be placed with me due to brokenness in some form or fashion. It could be a parent or guardian’s drug addiction that brings them to my door. It could be neglect. Or a combination of both – particularly in this area.

To say that I’m excited feels wrong on the one hand. But, in the sense that I have dreamed so long about being a mom and have dreamed since I was a pre-teen about adoption {and foster care}, it is amazing to be stepping into part of your calling.

I’m fairly certain that there are some people around me who probably don’t get what I’m doing. I’m also fairly certain there are some people around me who, having been blessed with kids and a family, don’t understand the significance of this new path in life at almost 42.

I’ve had a few things said to me recently that stung a little. I’ve also experienced a little insensitivity too. I keep telling myself to get used to it. I’m sure it will continue after I have kids placed in my home.

On that note, here are a few things I’d like to say:

  1. I believe it is part of my calling in life to be a mom {even if it’s not forever} to kids who need a family. I believe that God calls His people to care for orphans. You can read more from Show Hope, here.
  2. I have always believed that my family would be part of that caring for the orphans {or at least kids who feel they don’t have anyone}. There’s an organization called All Our Kids that kind of shows you how I always thought my house would be – an open door to all who needed a place. I usually saw that in the context of my kid’s friends or working with young people. All Our Kids started with their son’s friend and his need for a meal. And it grew from there. You can read an article about them, here. This is always how I’ve seen my life and family. It’s what I hoped my home would be. I just didn’t ever plan on doing it as a single woman.
  3. For you judgey moms of the world {mama shaming is gross, ya’ll}, you may have become a mom, in some cases, twenty years earlier than me. You may be entering into a new stage of parenthood as I begin. However, starting this journey as a parent at 42 is far different from this vantage point than from yours. Don’t believe me? Ask other moms who start this path at 40 or older. Or read what adoptive moms like Hoda Kotb or Lisa Harper have to say about their experience as later in life, moms. When the one thing you wanted out of life was to have a family and you don’t, there are just some things you look at differently. And there are some things you don’t take for granted. So  . . . moms of the world . . . spare me the platitudes, warnings, and “you just waits” until you’ve walked a mile in my shoes.
  4. Fostering or fostering to adopt makes me no less of a mother than had I given birth.

Can you tell I’m annoyed? I am trying not to be. But people can be insensitive. This is the single most significant time in my life so far and yet it makes me sad that there are those who truly do not get it.

Now that I’ve got that off my chest, I won’t be bringing it up again. But “my” kids and my path to being a mom may not look like yours, but they deserve a loving, happy home and what every child should have and know. They don’t deserve second best. Like your kids, they deserve the best. And if their bio parents can’t be that for them – or can’t be that for them right now – I will be.

I’m supposed to have a “foster” shower later this month. I hope that I will have some friends celebrate this journey with me. Sometimes it stings a little that I won’t ever know the joy of giving birth to a child and experiencing all that means. But that does not diminish, in any way, how I will become a mom. I will be celebrating and enjoying this as any mom who gives birth, might. And I will not take this journey for granted.

foster care, foster adopt, this is foster care,

As is the case in many other things in life however, it’s sometimes easier to focus on the people who don’t get it. Or those who don’t get you. That is a weakness of mine. That is one reason I’ve worked so hard on my home in recent days and weeks – distraction.

However motherhood comes to you, it’s a miracle. – Valerie Harper

I am so thankful to be approaching this dream. And while I’ve addressed a little negativity, the truth is, I’m extremely thankful and grateful to be here. I’m also a little emotional. 🙂 It’s awesome to be here after so many years.

I am so thankful that God will use me in these lives of these littles. With every fiber of my being I’m convinced that I was made to do this.

If you’ve reached a point in your life where you were on the edge of accomplishing a dream and you had a few naysayers, how did you deal with them? Did you ignore them and keep plugging along? Or, like me, did you find yourself a little distracted by them?

I would love for you to follow along with my journey!

With love,

Elaina

Disclaimer: When I have children placed with me, I won’t be able to share any photos and obviously names or details will not be shared either. I do intend to share about parenting as a single foster/adopt mom, however. 

8 thoughts on “It’s Official – I’m a Licensed Foster Parent!”

  1. I LOVE your heart! Even though these children will be coming from a place of brokenness I am excited for you and each and every child that will be able to come through house to be filled with love and that they will know they can be loved and safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So thankful for you, Elaina! I’m not far behind you on my single foster parenting journey–in the licensing process!. So many of the things you stated are things I have thought, processed, mourned and cried over. We are entering a journey that is still unknown to many. We are carrying out the Gospel and showing Christ to not only the kiddos in our home, but the world observing us. Praying for you as you continue on your journey and welcome kiddos into your home! You’re going to be a great Mama!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is SO exciting! I know your excitment and while it is sad what the children must suffer it’s okay to be excited because so many need help. And so if they must have this need then what a blessing we have to fill it. You will make a great Mom! I am going to continue to follow your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

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