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!)