Sunday, December 13, 2009

Well alrighty then...

"Now that Landon is getting ready to leave maybe we should get our foster license again." I told Rick a few months ago.

"I don't know if I'm ready for that." He answered. "I'll have to think about it."

I can't say that I blamed him for his hesitation. Our last experience with foster care nearly 11 years ago was a whole lot of hard, some very, very good times too, but mostly a whole lot of hard.

We were told that the two boys (brothers) who came to our home would only be staying for a few months (famous last words). Well heck, I can handle anything for a few months--I thought. Only it wasn't only a few months it was a year. A whole lot of hard (and some very, very good) year.

I spent a lot of time on my knees that year--a lot of time--praying for the strength to get through the difficult sibling rivalry days (I'm talking about you siblings against us siblings kind of rivalry) and often wondered if I'd survive. When the case worker finally let me know that the boys' mother was losing her rights and that the boys would either be adopted or placed in long term care I didn't know what to do. I knew I couldn't adopt them, I knew I couldn't keep them long term... the only answer was to let them go and that killed me. I didn't want to be another abandonment story in their young lives. I didn't want to add to their pain, their problems and their issues. I wanted to help them, but I couldn't.

I decided I had no choice, I had to let them go, but when I expressed this to a counselor during an interview at my church he told me that he felt I should wait to make that decision. Okay--I thought and by faith alone waited a few months longer until the day came that I felt very impressed to start changing my prayers. I had been praying for strength to hang on and to be able to make everything work and now I felt very strongly that I was to start praying for the right doors to open up for the boys. I did this and soon (on my birthday in fact) they were leaving my home.

The younger brother went to a wonderful home, but the older was taken to a group home. This killed me and I wondered if I had done the right thing. Not only were they split up but... a group home? How could this be right? But about a year later the older boy began attending the same charter school that my kids went to and I found out that he had been placed in a good home too.

Still I had guilt. Guilt for ever doing foster care. Guilt for abandoning those boys and adding to their hurt. We had a few other short term foster placements after that, but when I found out I was going to have another baby of my own we decided to let our license go until our kids were much older.

Now with much older finally here...

About a month ago Rick was awakened from a bad dream. He woke me and, very shaken, said over and over, "We have to do foster care again. We have to do foster care again."
This time I was hesitant. I don't know-- I thought-- can I really do this again?

But shortly after that I had a strong spiritual confirmation that he was right. We have to do foster care again.

And watching the movie "The Blindside" this weekend (run, don't walk, to go see it) confirmed this even more for both of us.

We really, REALLY have to do foster care again.
Yes we do.
And yes we will.

8 comments:

MaryRC said...

wow! how powerful is that? is landon putting in his papers? or did he already? i think about foster care sometimes as well. and blindside i think makes everyone want to help a kid in need.

4boyzmdmom said...

I'm sure you were a blessing in those boys' lives! We've talked about foster care more than once, but space is an issue. Maybe when the older boys start moving out...

Shellie said...

Good luck on your new adventure!

Unknown Mami said...

I'm glad people like you and your husband exist.

Marcie said...

Wow! Thank goodness for people like you and Rick. I'm sure you will be amazing.

Miss Risa's House said...

That is awesome! I need to take Ted to see that movie, because i really want to be doing the same thing

The Cranes said...

We've talked about doing foster care, too, as a way to adopt since we wanted more children than we got, but we know it can be a whole lot of hard, like you said. And life has been too crazy, in many ways, the last 3 years to even consider it. Good luck to you and your family--it is a wonderful thing to do and I know you will be blessed for it!

Dominique said...

To open your home and love those boys up for as much time as you did surely added to the good in their lives. You and Rick are really amazing. Thanks for the positive inspiration today. (Which, btw, it is so much more enjoyable reading through your archives than to pack up the ornaments that I've left on our dining room table - or go through two weeks worth of mail - or take a shower, etc.)