It’s no secret, everyone knows (well everyone who will listen long enough for us to share) that we are getting ready to foster some little kiddos in the next few months. We have spent the last 6 months going through training, filling out tons of paperwork, and preparing our home to prepare for the child who instead of saying “our foster child” we call “little Travis.” I’m sure all of our friends/family who already know about “little Travis” are giggling right now – because it’s such a familiar, ongoing conversation. “Any more news about little Travis? When is little Travis coming? What do you guys have left to do to prepare for Travis? WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE CHILD’S NAME IS NOT TRAVIS?” As we went through IMPACT training, that was the #1 thing they stressed to everyone in our class (all 4 families) – talk to your friends, talk to your families, talk to your coworkers. This isn’t just effecting your household – it’ll effect everyone you come into contact with on a daily basis and it’s good to get everyone equally excited and involved. Believe me, WE ARE EXCITED.
I would be lying if I said we haven’t been on pins and needles the last couples of months, literally boiling over with excitement, anxiousness, so many different emotions spilling out. No, our situation isn’t “ideal” to a lot of people. In fact, at first with certain members of our family when we mentioned it they took a deep breath before asking questions because it is a frightening, nerve-wracking blessing.
Foster care is something that you HAVE TO go into with an open mind. An open mind for your placement, an open mind to the adjustments you’re willing to make in your life, and an open mind to the past your child will come from and possibly go back to. We have this same conversation weekly, both with one another and different family/friends – “What happens when you give a child all of these things and that child goes back?” You’re right, what happens? You can either give them everything in the entire world, dedicate your life and your love, give them all of these things they may never get to experience again.. you let them play softball, let them take that dance class, let them go to that festival, take them to white water and six flags, take them anywhere and everywhere a kid deserves to go to, let them be involved in EVERYTHING A CHILD DESERVES TO BE A PART OF or you couldn’t. You then take that from them just like people have their entire lives. My question is, “why wouldn’t you?” Because you don’t want them to feel a loss if/when they go back? How about let them feel the love, care, and have a wonderful life while they’re with you instead? How about make those memories with them while you can to make that extra impression and show them there is a life that’s worth striving for in the long run?
We have no stress when it comes to the unknown, but instead of the known, which is that when our call comes, life will completely change. Our hearts then go on the line, like clothes out to dry. While we wait for s/he/them to arrive, it seems like the laundry list of things I’m thinking of and going over in my head continue to grow.
5 Daily Thoughts That Go Through My Mind While We Wait
Visits. Will we have birth parent/family visits? If so, how often? Who will be there? What will they be like? Will I be okay with this?
The room. We have finally began getting the bedroom all set up – we are getting everything situated and I’m so excited to have my mind at ease as the project has come to a close. (FOR NOW!)
How will WE acclimate? How will OUR FAMILIES acclimate? How will LIFE acclimate? On the final home study questionnaire, they asked us how our families feel about us deciding to become foster parents – I think everyone is excited and WE are of course excited but there’s of course the nervous knit in the back of my mind as we tread into this unknown water.
When will s/he/they arrive? To say that I am no longer on pins and needles waiting for our call would be a lie, but I AM more at ease with it these days.. becoming more patient, or at least trying to be. But because I know the process is well on its way, I can’t help but think, “when?”
The long road to “Gotcha Day.” It’s a very, very long road. You know how sometimes you procrastinate even beginning a project because you know that once you start the end is still so very distant? Adopting from the foster care system has many parallels to that.
I imagine that before you give birth to a child you have your own laundry list of questions and stressers while you wait. I am not sure what your main ones are, but for me, I will say it’s absolutely all 5 mentioned above.
While we wait for s/he/them to arrive, though, I must do absolutely everything in my power to ensure the stress levels keep at bay. And I won’t lie, we have been doing an awesome job of staying in the present. It is so easy to look backward, then forward, sideways and then forward again. But all that causes is a dizzying effect, and so I am teaching myself to stay right here, in the now, for the present. And this is not just for me, but for Kate as well. We only have today, and today is perfect as is (even while playing this little waiting game.)
S/he/They are going to be here before we know it. Maybe you could help out while we wait with a little game? Are you up for the fun?! I have the same anticipation that any other mother has when she waits for her baby to arrive. If I had a belly bump right now, and the due date was approaching, people would start making their predictions about the arrival date. Our home inspection and paperwork should be sent off to the state by December 1st (hopefully!) So what do you think? What will be the date when we get our call?! I really love that you share this journey with us! And have I told you yet that I really love that you share this journey with us?!