Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Hope

Caseworkers have this horrible habit (I love you guys...really) of doling out hope like mini-Snickers on Halloween.

See, before Daniel and I first began this insane fostering adventure, we were clear on what we wanted: to give a kid a forever home. We only ended up fostering after years of talking about adoption.

These days, we know we're foster parents and that most, maybe all, of the kids who come into our home will leave again. But still, not very deep down, we are seeking permanence. We're always thinking that this could be the kid who stays.

And of course, every time one of them leaves (even if the kid is going to a safe situation, with family members), we cry and throw things.

And every time a new one comes, we tell ourselves that we will not think of tomorrow, that we will shield ourselves a little better this time, love a little less.

But we are LIARS.

So even though I'd like to blame the caseworkers for their incautious words ("This kid will be in foster care for a long time." "The relatives aren't suitable, so they'll definitely be staying with you." "You're a foster-adoptive family, right? Not just fostering?"), I know it's really my fault that TWELVE children have come and gone in eleven months, and I still haven't learned my lesson.

So for all you prospective and new foster parents, be smarter than we are. Decide to adopt one of the hundreds of thousands of kids who are already available for adoption, or come to terms with the fact that fostering, even if you're a foster-to-adopt family, is all about doing what you can in the short time you have, and that it's almost always temporary.


(Also, people, this blog has been seriously bad about keeping to a posting schedule. Bad blog. So if you can think of any topics we should cover, questions we should explore, or challenges we should undertake, let me know in comments!)

3 comments:

  1. I'm a foster mom, too, so I come here mainly for posts like this. I love when you give your perspective on things you've learned (or refuse to learn) as a foster parent. You're a great writer so I'll read whatever you write

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  2. It can be frustrating. We've adopted 2 boys but still holding out for a girl. 4 have come & gone, and 2 didn't come at all. Our biomom is preggos again so if it's another boy - we are done!

    Chin up! God has a plan for your child who may be conceived right now. Our Stinkpot was.
    Big hugs!

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  3. I admire you and Daniel so much for the foster parenting and possible adoption work. When I am in St. Louis, I eat lunch every Tuesday with a friend I have known since I was five or six. He and his wife are foster parents, too, and I told him about your blog. One Tuesday, after lunch, he emailed me: "I read some entries on that blog you told me about. I always hate it when I cry at work." So you are an inspiration to others, too. BTW (that is an initialism for "by the way" in case I'm being too cool), I read the David Platt book last weekend and thought I would like it more than I did. I liked the anti-materialism comments, but all the rest seemed to boil down Christianity just to evangelism. It made me think of the comment C.S. Lewis has the angel or "guide" make in THE GREAT DIVORCE about "no one who wants to experience joy will miss out," which I've always thought was Lewis's way of saying that God won't sent anybody to hell on a technicality. After reading his book, I'm not so sure David Platt agrees with that.

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