It's been 2 weeks since we've added to our family. How are we doing? um. I'm not sure how to answer that. We're better than we were a week and a half ago but not where I thought we'd be. There's a whole lot more processing than I anticipated. I don't want to candy-coat this, it's hard. It's really hard. On so many levels.
Let me back up though and answer some questions. 2 Thursdays ago we got an email from our licensing worker letting us know she spoke to a coworker about us who was attempting to place a little guy. We spent the afternoon emailing back and forth, made the decision to accept the placement, and then were put in touch with Baby T's case worker. Thursday evening we met them at the hospital (there are some medical issues), got instructions on some meds and left with a child we've never met before. He had no shoes and was wearing an outfit too small for him. (to be fair, no one thought he'd be leaving w/ strangers when they admitted him to the hospital...)
Over the last two weeks I've had to continually remind myself what his world must feel like. How holding him, changing his diaper, feeding him, playing with him, smiling at him, choosing patience with him, bathing him, singing to him, etc is a necessity if he's going to build trust in me. If we can't build that trust, we'll all be miserable until he's returned to his family. He's old enough that it's more complex than just basic needs. He knows something's up. He knows he doesn't know us. He continually tests us. It's not really love-at-first-sight when there's so much brokenness involved. He's scared, angry and sick.
Another aspect I hadn't thought of was the sacrifice we would make as a family of our regular lives until a new foster kid gets used to us. We really can't expect him to just jump into the pace we run on a regular basis. I know that may seem shallow considering what he's been through but it's hitting me harder than I'd like. Turns out I was pretty attached to all those things.
This isn't to discourage you if you were considering the foster system. This is for journaling's sake. This is for other foster moms who are struggling with the transition. This is for honesty. Do I wish/hope/believe that more of you should foster? Heck yes. The classes will prepare you but I don't want to give you any delusions about the reality.
1 Peter 1:6-7 "For a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed."
I like that 'result'. I like that it's not the expectation at the beginning of the trial, but the end. One day at a time. One toddling step forward, two hundred time-outs backward, isn't that how the saying goes?