I jump through hoops. That’s what I’ll tell people when asked what I do. This season without any foster children has given me time to think (see Progress Report). Deciding to homeschool Sloane* (see Back to School) revived my dream to foster babies. Since I have one child at home during the week, I might as well have more.
So I made the switch to babies with the local Children’s Aid I’m working with. Let me tell you, this was no small feat. The cribs I recently bought from IKEA were, apparently, not up to code. Nor was the gate I just got from Canadian Tire. The curtains covering my patio doors were not permitted to touch the ground. I tried safety pinning them shorter (my social worker suggested duct tape) but it looked ridiculous with the glass showing at the bottom. Really, who puts up curtains that don’t cover a window? Not me. So I had to take the curtains down. Now, at night, I try to convince myself there isn’t anyone beyond the black cavern of exposed glass. There were many more seemingly small things which amounted to a great deal of stress for me. This was exasperated because just after my social worker left my home with a failing grade for baby prep, she called me with a possible placement. Ideally, I’d wanted to have one little baby (preferably right from the hospital) and two older foster children – say 10 & 12. But that wasn’t possible. Teens and babies can’t be together. So my age range became 0-8yrs. And I nervously wondered how I’d manage so many young ones. Now I get to see.
The placement was a 4yr old and 14mth old. “Oh, these are boys,” my social worker said, somewhat surprised. “You’re only down for girls.” I don’t know why she even thought of me – since I am only down for girls. After two months of waiting for foster children, I decided not to let the opportunity pass me by.
I got everything done on my list – new crib, new gates, etc, etc, etc. My social worker came out early Thursday morning to inspect the place again. This is what I get to do – jump through hoops so I can bend over backwards caring for someone else’s child. The child comes with issues and challenges you would not believe. My entire life revolves around caring for a child that doesn’t even belong to me. Working through the list of things I needed to do, I kept wondering, “Why am I doing this?” Misty Edward’s song answers me. “It’s gonna be worth it,” I can hear her sing. “It’s gonna be worth it all in the end.” The end will be when I get to heaven and meet my maker. I know He’ll say, “This is what I created you for – to love Me by loving these kids.” I must admit I don’t always do it flawlessly or with an abundance of grace. But I’m still here. I’m still trying.
I now have a 5yr old, two 4yr olds, and a 14mth old. And I’m on my own. A baby and two older kids is what I was planning in addition to my own 5 & 4yr old. But this is the door the Lord opened. I’ve chosen to walk through it. Expecting to encounter Him in this new place.