A Whole New World

Originally written on May 24, 2013

Since I was little I knew I wanted to adopt and/ or foster. I remember sitting my mom down when I was about five and telling her I needed a baby sister. She told me she couldn’t have anymore babies but I told her we could adopt. I would pray to God for a baby and would check the front door thinking He would send someone to our home to drop off their baby. In junior high there was a girl in my class who was a foster child. She was dirty, wore old clothes and had a backpack that wasn’t cool. My heart went out to her. I had learned about fostering when I was young because my neighbors fostered and my brother and I would play with their foster son. We knew he was a “trouble maker” and had “problems”. I never made fun of this girl but many others did. I remember thinking to myself that when I have foster kids, nobody will ever know they are “different” than any other kid. I think I’ve taken it to the extreme… the new little one with me now has an entire new wardrobe including a pair of Joe’s pants.  Birthdays will be treated like any of my friends kids birthdays. Just because this little one is a foster child doesn’t mean she doesn’t deserve a fun party! We will go on play dates and maybe even do swim lessons.

My role as a foster parent is to love and care for this child unconditionally while they need it most and then send them to a permanent, loving, safe home. I get asked a lot how I’m going to let go and I always say, they aren’t mine to keep. I get to play a very special role… I get to love them when nobody else is able to. I get to make them laugh, smile, fill their tummies, help them feel safe and secure, take them on new adventures and of course, take tons of photos. I love that I get to do this for them, even though it’s not forever. Another foster mom said to me, “If you don’t shed a tear when you say goodbye, you didn’t do your job.” That really describes it best.

Since I’ve announced I’m doing this I’ve been told by quite a few people that I’m amazing. I’m not amazing… I’m just doing what I’ve always wanted to do. A lot of people say “I could never do what you’re doing” and trust me, I don’t even know if I can do what I’m doing. I know it’s going to be hard. My heart already hurts hearing what these kids go through. But, I have to remind myself that no matter how hard it is for me, it’s a million times harder for the child… they are the amazing ones! I can’t even imagine being in their position. A child was literally just given to me to care for… I’m a stranger, it’s a strange house and there are two dogs that also want to share unconditional love. Could you even imagine what a child must think? Yet, she smiles, laughs, lets me hold her and comfort her. Seriously blows me away.

My adventure in fostering started less than 48 hours ago. I’m exhausted, my arms and back are sore, my home is a mess, I haven’t been able to check email or do any work, but it’s all worth it. There is a little one sleeping safely in her crib as I type this and that’s what it’s all about. I promise to get it together soon. Once we figure out a schedule, this will be “easier”… yes, I put it in quotes because I don’t think parenting is ever easy. 🙂 Thank you to all who have been so supportive. I have the most amazing clients, friends and family and I couldn’t do this without any of you. You are all making a difference in this child’s life.

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