Wednesday, October 13, 2010

2 week update

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?


Chrissy said...

I'm with ya. And actually, it is quite reassuring to know that my feelings were not so off base. Even knowing full well that we get to keep these babies forever and ever, the transition, the adding of new strange faces to our already established home was hard on US. I can't even imagine what my two precious ones were thinking...hello white face, I've never seen one of those before! Quite the shock. God provides, though. He provides the strength, the peace, the (yikes) patience, the grace...all exactly when we need it. Craziness, I tell ya.

I'm proud of you guys! Keep pressing on.

Maggie said...

I feel you - like, for real.
When I talk to people who are looking into fostering - without discouraging them I try to explain the hardness of it. I'm not sure it's something you understand until you are there though.

And, (at risk of this comment becoming a novel) I COMPLETELY understand the difficulty of sacrificing "normal family time". That is the hardest thing for me in fostering, is having to remember that if this is what God has for us, that our family would not be better off without fostering. It is so hard not to mourn the things that you say goodbye to though!

I so get you!
I can't say that it always gets easier - but God does provide, and he will not fail to bring fruit from this!

Jimmy Armstrong said...

Keep up the good work.

I really liked this quote from Katie Davis' blog the other day …"If we are really following Jesus, we will go to the hard places. Being a Christ follower means being acquainted with sorrow. Because we must know sorrow to be able to fully appreciate Joy. Joy costs pain, but the pain is worth it."

James 1:27, Psalm 82:3

Anonymous said...

hey katie,
we just got two kiddos and are going through the craziness and definitely missing our "normal" lifestyle. but God is so good and even in the weariness is blessing and encouraging us.