Wednesday, February 20, 2013

What was I thinking? Part One

There are a variety of responses one receives when they share their intentions to become a foster parent. Add that you are going to be a SINGLE foster parent and people can really start twitching.

The most common response is a list of questions or exclamations. "Wow! I could never do that!" followed by "How are you going to be able to give them up?" Bring on the questions! The fact is that foster parenting is my favorite topic! I could talk for hours about it. If you have any questions post them as a comment and I will do my best to respond! For now I will attempt to address some of the responses I have encountered.

"Wow! I could never do that!" - Yes, you could. I am not an emotional superhero nor do I have some kind of heart made of metal to block the emotions of watching a child I have loved and called my own return to their biological family. It's quite the opposite. I am simply too sensitive not to do something about the thousands of children in need of a safe place to call home while their parents sort through their own brokeness. I am not trying to imply that you are not sensitive if you are not adopting or fostering! For me it has simply become harder to choose NOT to foster than to choose to act in a tangible way. Everyone has a niche (1 Cor. 12:12-20) and this happens to be mine. If God called you to foster you could do it too!

"How are you going to be able to give them up?" - Honestly? I don't know! There are some aspects of fostering that I will not be able to explain until I experience them. Reunification with the biological family is just one of those. I do know that I agree with the goal of fostering: reuniting children with their primary family if at all possible. Will I always agree with the system and the decisions it makes? NO! It makes me unbelievably disheartened to think that some of the kiddos that come through my home will return to less than reliable homes and will likely return to care or experience more trauma. I will most likely cry when they leave. I will miss them like crazy. And the reality is that I will question if I can handle the heartache any more. Ready for the positive side? I get to love a little soul that is hurting. That alone far outweighs the negative for me. I will have the opportunity to be a small part of reuniting a family. Just thinking about that possibility makes me smile.