A year ago we stepped onto a road marked “Foster Care.” Our initial interview and 9 weeks of classwork came and went and then a lot of time and life came and went. Our coursework was a lot to digest. I think it was supposed to be that way. I don’t think the goal is to scare the crap out of potential foster parents, but I can’t imagine walking away without a little bit of terror.
Watch a video where a 7 year old cusses the fire out of a foster parent and then introduces their foster siblings to porn and try not to worry just a little bit. Then listen to a DCFS officer explain why 92% of foster families are investigated by the system for neglect and abuse because their actions and the reactions of wounded children are under a microscope at all times. Then throw in a little “taking a child out of his or her home and then shuffling him or her around a couple of times is super detrimental and terrible, but it’s all we have,” in there.
Yikes. Gulp. Reality super check.
Several times in the last months I’ve talked myself way out of this process. And each and every time I come back to it. It’s staring me in the face. It will not let me go. I know absolutely that I am terrified and unsure, but I am not released.
It’s humbling to be afraid of a child – a nameless, victimized child. It’s embarrassing to cling so tightly to my normal. It’s wrong to project the worst case scenario videos onto the life of a precious little one.
Our licensing worker is great. She has not been pushy. She has simply emailed me the next document and waited 3 months for me to fill it out. Email doc, wait, wait, wait, repeat. I have no idea when we will finish, if and when our doors will open to a waiting child, but we continue to lurch forward – slowly.
Last week I was presented with an opportunity that would require a large amount of energy and time and usher in a new season of opportunity and responsibility. I was SO excited. I was booking flights and planning course work and then I stopped. Dead in my tracks.
If I turn this corner I would essentially be saying NO to foster care and despite all logic and rationalization and justification, I can’t do it. Crazy. It was a strange confirmation of this direction. I can’t say absolutely YES to foster care and yet I absolutely can not say YES to anything that would keep me from it. Not yet. And so, we lurch forward – ever, ever so slowly.
I just wanted to give those curious few out there a little update!