Friday, March 19, 2010

Post 3: My Heart

This is the post I’ve struggled writing the most in this series. I’m trying to be efficient in my writing so this post doesn’t end up taking a hundred years for you to read. Although, maybe by the time you're done, they will have invented/perfected time travel and you can get all that time back. All that to say: there’s a lot. Efficiency + depth of heart. Wish me luck and grab a seat.

If you've left a question in the comments or an email, I promise I'll get back to you so soon! We've been so swamped with life lately I even got a "miss you" text from the upstanding people at the Bravo network.

One question I've gotten non-stop in the last 24 hours (twice) is which route are we signing up for, fostering or adoption. The answer is yes.

We are suiting up for being a foster family. With hopes to adopt. But not expecting it right away. (Enter disclosure statement here.) We may go through 10 foster kids before we land on one that becomes available for adoption and THAT'S OKAY.

Somewhere along the way, in the last 2 months my heart was changed, broken, pruned, and has grown. Yesterday I was pretty honest about my feelings in the beginning: I/We was/were in this for keeps. I had to use self-control not to roll my eyes at the whole 'reunification' thing, or assume that that was for other people, not us. We were going to go the foster route, making sure to judge some birth families for making some bad decisions because we *clearly have life figured out*, and then go happily ever after along on our way with their child.

But we have switched camps. The thought of being a safe haven for a hurting child, a team member in restoring a family back to the original design is now what gets me giddy. Literally, g.i.d.d.y.

You may have heard me talk about my childhood Halloween trend before but for those that are unfamiliar, for at least 3 years in a row I was Princess Leah during the school day but Queen Esther at the church's "harvest party" (same costume, clever mom!) I was obsessed with Esther from the Old Testament. If you don't know the story, check it out, it's amazing. Especially if you like ground-breaking television shows like The Bachelor. I digress.

There's a part of Esther that reads, "How do you know that you have not come to this position (spoiler alert: she's the queen) FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS?"

Being a teacher for 7+ years, married to a youth leader for 3+ years, I have some experience. Some, not a ton, but enough that I can recall kids names, faces and stories that prepared me for the road ahead. I remember being in a meeting at school to get a little girl the services she needed and hearing her history, her story. She had more to battle in her 9 years of life than I've ever had or will have. I was humbled that the Lord would entrust her to me for that year of teaching, overwhelmed that I was in such a position of influence during such a fragile time. It made me fight for her, advocate for more help, more services, strategize with her guardians on what to do at home, etc.

Another face pops into my memory. Little stinker. One that adds to the wrinkles on my forehead with his unacceptable behaviors coming into my classroom every day. One that, if absent, we could all breath a little easier that day. He drove me crazy and we battled. All year, daily. BUT, I can say with confidence that he was a different child by the end of the year. He knew I cared about him, he knew he was safe in my world and he knew I wouldn't put up with his junk. I watched him slowly become the child he wanted to be.


Why have I never thought of this before? This fostering thing might just be what we were created for. Perhaps all the drama, all the experience we've had has prepared us FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS. One of the speakers at our last class the other night mentioned that with some of the foster kids she's had over the years, she's convinced they were brought to her so she could have an influencing role with the birth mom. Not that she's a better parent, but that she was able to mentor these women into the role they were designed for.

So, there you have it. My heart is bent toward restoration, reunification. I'm fully aware of how messy this could get and I'm prepared to cry a lot, and that's okay.

If you're still reading, a big hearty THANK YOU for listening. You rock my face right off.


amanda said...

You should write more. Don't hold back. We can handle pages and pages... because we like what you have to say. And yes, I am speaking for everyone. haha

heather said...

Thanks for sharing Katie. Love you!

erin said...

You're so great. Love this post. Thanks for your honesty and your h.u.g.e heart.

Anonymous said...

Love this post! It's going to be exciting to watch how things unfold for your family.

And, I LOVE the book of Esther. Someone told me not long ago that it was his least favorite book in the Bible and all I could say was, "Wha?"

amy said...

anyone who knows you KNOWS that you will r.o.c.k at this adventure/path God has placed on....

sara luke said...

This is so great to read, Katie. Thanks for sharing all of this.

Dan and Amanda said...

I appreciate you and Russ for what you are about to do. This is coming from the heart-broken aunt of 2 precious nephews who someday will be removed from their home and be(hopefully)placed into a loving home like yours.

Deb said...

I can't think of three better people for such a time as this! You bless my heart!

The Busters said...

Katie, I think you are better at sharing your heart than you give yourself credit for. I could have kept reading and reading. I admire your heart and all that you are willing to share. Thank you!

Sharon said...

Oh friend, first off, I love your heart and your willingness to share it. Refreshing. And I'm SO EXCITED to see how this unfolds - your enthusiasm is contagious!! Love you and behind you 100%!

Laura said...

Thank you for sharing and being so HONEST! That is what I have always loved about your blog Katie.... We also have looked at fostering vs. adopting. Before we brought Mateo and Elisabeth home we looked into it and now that they are home I am a bit nervous about the coming and going of kids in our home. Mateo was 2 1/2 when he came home and he remembers a lot, I think it would be really confusing for him to never know if kids are staying or not. Sorry for the long comment, be we are still praying about it and I am so glad you are addressing it on your blog! Thanks!

Jill said...

The question mark is awesome, amazing...I can't tell you how much that means to me. After reading through this post regarding your heart - I am right there with you. My husband and I are also foster parents. We have been listening to God and going with the flow on how he wants to use us. We originally signed up to foster with the intent to adopt. Now we're more of a respite situation - a safe resting spot for the children as well as a moment of rest for other foster parents. We had our first placement about a month ago. She was a 4 week old preemie - precious! When I took her to meet the more long term foster family I gave them and the birth mother pictures of this sweet baby. Through the one way window I saw this mother cry that I was the first foster parent (this is her 4th baby) to ever give her any pictures. Being a photographer that makes me so sad but from the other side, I know that many foster parents don't want to think that this mother loves her child. She does, but just isn't in a place to care for her in her home, only in her heart.

BTW...I found your blog from jodie at fresh art {love her & kim! - we actually hooked up for a session while on a trip to chicago}.

Katie, I will be praying for your family as you travel this possibly bumpy road!