Our New Happy Place

I am a planner…a five-year plan is my happy place. Well, it used to be. Life has a way of humbling us…and the thought of mapping out where I think we should be in five years has become a bit comical. Take the month of May, for example. Today is April 22. Within the next thirty days we will either say goodbye to our Peas; say hello forever to our Peas; just hang out with the Peas a bit longer (til the next court date); perhaps take on a additional Pea…as one is cooking and is due in May; AND welcome a new family member for a spell. So, uh, plans are really…not…ummm…conducive to our current way of life.

This kind of “uncertainty” is our new normal. And though it is true for all of us, we are keenly aware that we have no idea what the future holds. But our hope for our future is secure…because it now rests on the unchangeable shoulders of a good God. And that space of faith is our new happy place. Trusting the One who is immovable, unchangeable…and good. We feel such certainty that all will be well. All will be well. This place of peace beats the pants off a five-year plan.

We Promise…

People get into fostering for a variety of reasons. My husband and I simultaneously felt “the call.” We simply wanted to help children. We didn’t have a clear picture of what that meant. But, as we were educated through fostering classes, we learned that the best thing for a child is to get into a stable living situation as soon as possible. Fostering-to-adopt fits that bill. A child is brought into a stable home until his or her fate is determined by a judge. This takes over a year = at least 365 days. If the rights of the bio parent/s are terminated or the parent/s relinquish their rights, then bingo, bango, the child is already in their forever home. The child already knows and has attached to caregivers…no more moving…no additional trauma. And then the healing begins. And continues. Throughout the child’s life.

And so, Phil and I signed up to foster-to-adopt. We wanted to help children. We were pretty clueless. We thought the children we were helping were…you know…children. Ah, but I am 44. Phil is 56. So, uh, turns out that the children our hearts bleed for are the parents. Let’s face it, an “older” mom in foster care is about 25. Yep, I so could easily have a 25-year-old daughter. But truly, most of the mammas are in their teens. So, yeah, our hearts bleed for these children who are having children…and are in desperate situations.

Granted, it took me a good 20 years of adulthood to shed MOST of my self-righteousness. Yeah, yeah, I still have hanger-on-er issues. But for the most part, I KNOW what I can do or say in desperate situations. And it ain’t purdy. I can be abusive. I have been abusive. To those I love so dearly. So I know, these young mammas love their babies. And hurt their babies. And make terrible decisions that leave lasting scars. And my heart breaks for the mammas and for the victims of their desperation.

And so Phil and I promise this…to these young parents…we promise:

  • We will love your baby with all our hearts.
  • We will hold and comfort your child when he or she cries for you.
  • We will bring your child for visits and pray you have a wonderful time together.
  • We will pray this precious child can come home to you.
  • We will pray for you…we will pray you find forgiveness and peace and redemption.
  • We will make sure to honor you and to encourage your child to do so as well…for as long as we care for your child.
  • We will do whatever we can to help you reconcile this situation.
  • We will hope for you!
  • We will believe you can change.
  • We will love you and fight for you…through fierce prayers and spiritual warfare.
  • If the time comes, we will return your child with broken, happy hearts.
  • If the time comes, we will love your baby as our very own…with broken, happy hearts.

Schedule the Inspections

Phil sent me a text yesterday, “We are ready to schedule our inspections. Will you take care of that?”

WHAT??? This text was code for…we are almost ready…classes done, paperwork done, we need our fire and safety inspections…then a walk through…then….A KID. That’s a good thing, right? Yet, the text filled me with apprehension and fear. I’M NOT READY!!!!

I’m not ready. I’m not ready. I’m not ready.

But you  know what? I’ve been ready for about 10 years. I am ready. I am.

And so, ready, set, JUMP!

Our Paper Pregnancy

The rumors are true. We are expecting baby number two! Looks like we will welcome a new one to our fold in October, or November…but certainly by December.

This pregnancy is quite different than the first. Quite. The first, because it was high risk, involved weekly doctor appointments, multiple sonograms, and guarding my blood sugar like a Doberman. This one involves just as much time, effort, work and prayer, but little of the physical wear and tear. Many refer to our experience as a paper pregnancy. You see, we are becoming foster parents.

The amount of work is astonishing, a true labor of love. We never would have passed muster with our preparations for Eden. For our next child we’ve endured classes on the very worst that people can do to precious babies, people questioning every intimate aspect of our lives, locking away our medications, posting daily schedules and menus, inviting people into our home to poke and prod and pry. Whew. I guess the poking and prodding and prying does remind me a bit of our first pregnancy.

Of course, the end result will be just as rewarding, if not more so. This time, we are linking our arms as a family to take care of a baby in need, a baby we may not get to keep forever.  We are okay with that. We are okay with the potential heartbreak…and this is why. For as long or as little as we get to love on our new baby, for one moment in time, the world will be right for that precious one. And we are honored to be the ones to bring a moment of light into a child’s life.

We love you, Baby Number Two. Whoever you are! We look forward to meeting you, as does your big sister.