This is Foster Care

Foster Care: The Ugly & The Beautiful

defend the fatherless,

The last twenty days have been dark. I’ve never been stretched so thin, worn out so completely, and felt so unsure how to get through to the only people who can help me.

As a result, I’ve been angry. I’ve said things I don’t mean about the process, organizations, and people who, at the end of the day, are just trying to do the only thing they know how to do to help a seemingly insurmountable problem – 114,000 kids in this country without a family of their own.

This is my confession – I have been an idiot. A giant, freaking idiot.

But, it’s also my plea.

I’m asking you to do something.

I was the wrong long-term match for the children in my care. Had I known what I knew by day 2.5, I never would have said yes. All foster parents have their limits – those things they can’t say yes to.

For some, it involves their bio kids (like never taking foster kids out of birth order). For others, it’s certain types of behaviors or ways in which the kids may have gotten in trouble in the past (hurting animals for instance – big no for me).

I love these kids. I loved them from the get go. But with their specific needs, I was not the correct long term placement. I know, because I know them, that it is in their best interest to be in a two-parent household.

I will spend the rest of my life praying for them. And there will always be a spot in my heart, that belongs to them.

But this takes me back to what I wanted to say overall.

I am in this position because someone needed me to say yes. They needed me to say yes to get the kids to a safe place. They needed me to say yes because there aren’t enough homes to take in children who, to no fault of their own, are neglected or abused.

They needed me to say yes. So as has been shared countless times by many other foster parents – I didn’t get the info that would have caused me to say no. Because they needed me to say yes.

So? What’s my point?

I’m asking you to do something. Can’t be a foster parent? Then do something for a foster family. It could be random – like mowing their grass the weekend you know they get their first placement. Or start a meal train. Lord knows the last thing I’ve been able to do is cook. Be a “back up” caregiver that gets background checked and can watch the kids when something crazy happens (like your car dying at Wal Mart when the kids are at childcare – happened this week).

Maybe you canfoster? So do it. Dig in. Research. Google foster family blogs or find them on Pinterest. I’m a little raw and angry these days. But you’ll find full on honesty on those blogs, too. They don’t sugar coat anything. Start here.

Maybe you’ve thought about it but are not sure if you can do it. If it’s crossed your mind, you should do some checking into it. You can go through a private agency or the local county DSS. There are pluses and minuses to both, which is why reading up on other’s experiences is helpful.

I am in this position and the kids are in this position today & awaiting a move, because there weren’t enough of me, out there. Frankly, there should be so many of us that no child is ever waiting.

Which brings me to where I am today. I am sicker than I have been in quite some time. The stress has worn on my body in a way that I’m quickly out of my Rheumatoid Arthritis remission.

The immune suppressing infusions I get every four weeks are delayed (which will put me back into remission I hope) because I’m sick – like bronchitis or pneumonia sick. And I’m not sleeping because I am coughing all night.

Which makes a hard situation, even harder, here at home. I’m worn at both ends. This is the ugly truth. But the beautiful truth is, I have a little boy across the hall who craves spiritual things and likes to talk about Jesus with me, while blasting Toby Mac (we only listen to KLOVE up in here). The beautiful is a little girl who acts like she can barely stand me but will curl up in my lap even after her darkest and hardest days and nights.

My greatest prayer for the two beautiful, exceptionally bright, and funny kids sleeping in the two rooms across the hall, is that they would meet, very soon, the family who will be theirs forever. My prayer for them is that they would reach out for Jesus, as we have talked about, when their worries and fears overwhelm them. My prayer for them is that years from now, when they’re my age and raising a family, they would see the hand of God and the ways in which He so intricately guided this process – that they could find safety here while their forever family was getting ready.

This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. And it’s the most painful request I’ve had to make – that the powers that be would find a two-parent home for these beautiful kids. This is the ugly & beautiful co-mingled. It shouldn’t have to be like this. It shouldn’t. But it is because there aren’t enough of us.

So . . . please do something.

****Disclaimer: I am not and have not shared what is going on with the kids and why I’m not the right household for them. So before you comment or judge, please know that you aren’t here, you aren’t me, and you aren’t them. Your information is limited and therefore, I’m the best person to comment on what they (and I) need.

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