Licensing Process

Am I my brother’s keeper?

(I’m typing this while watching Tigger freak out over the flower necklace I placed on him. LOL)

I AM.  I embrace that fact in regards to my siblings (blood and adopted) and to my spiritual sisters and brothers. It’s unnerving to me that in a world overflowing with people, means of transportation and countless ways to communicate….we can STILL feel completely alone/unheard/forgotten. Children should not carry that burden of feeling lost in a huge world. For all that we have gained, I sometimes wonder if it was worth what we’ve lost.

My heart weeps when I hear about children sleeping in offices due to the lack of foster homes. I won’t even go researching the number of teenagers that “age out” the system at 18. Can you imagine being removed from your home at 12 yrs old or older? That’s not all…due to your age- you are socially classified as “having more issues” and all things bad/unwelcome.  Think about the fortitude or resilience an older child must have to endure a life turned every way and still be able to smile, to choose to press on towards an unseen light in an endless tunnel. THIS has been my hugest obstacle as of yet with the decision to do foster care.

I originally had my heart set on a 16 year old… I will call “The One”. On paper, she seemed like a great fit for me. Throughout my PS-MAPPs training, I answered all scenarios with her in mind. I was completely at peace with my decision until I learned she had mental health diagnoses.  As the classes and scenarios continued, I was forced to really look myself in the mirror. It wasn’t an AH HA moment but a reality check. Despite my huge heart and empty rooms, I am one person. My parents are willing and able to be a resource for me ( adopted 6 + fostering 2).  As a nurse, I work very long hours and will need that support. Planning is KEY. I imagined being at work, learning of an incident w/The One and not being able to leave work or reach my parents. What if she decided to run away/ cause issues with the other children or my cousins (who are teens)?  It was much more plausible when it was only my house but when I consider the impact The One could have on my support, my family….I can’t stomach it! I am NOT saying those teens aren’t able to have a good placement. I made the best informed decision for me and my family.

The guilt that I felt initially was so heavy. I felt like I had abandoned her! I had to spend time in prayer to release myself of it. There wasn’t a Plan B so I didn’t know which age to focus on then. I spoke with my parents and two women from different foster care agencies. It took me about a month to decide the age group! I’ve decided 3-5 years old and only one child. I am now looking for a small bed and etc because of the huge age difference. I know that all things will work together. I applaud all the single bio parents/single foster parents who are able to care for multiple children! This woman will stick with the one!  Side note: I’m slightly nervous about getting a little one.

Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.  Deut 15:10

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12 thoughts on “Am I my brother’s keeper?

  1. we are each other’s keepers……a few things came to mind while reading this, bear with me or tell me to shut it, either way I don’t mind

    1. The one, was one of many. She is who God and the world have made her; perfect, and then imperfect. I know you have wondered, so let’s put it out there, I have mental illness. I almost ran away. I have an eating disorder that makes it hard to interact around me during meals–can you imagine the lost family time from that. I had suicidal thoughts and plans just about every single second of my teenage years.. I smoked. I swore—-at my parents. I told my teachers that they were morons and quit school. I was frighteningly needy of the attention of not nice men/boys. I was far from anyone’s “the one.” I was not a foster child……. I assure you my parents did not know they may be building a girl like this, and they certainly did not know what to do with me when I grew into that. The point is, we are all damaged. If we are lucky, someone out there loves us despite our damage.

    The One, she knows like I know that it’s far more likely that the only people willing to take on damage, are people even more damaged. She will protect herself from that by sabotaging every chance anyone has to get close to her. The only thing her “ones” will be able to do is stand there and wait for the hurricane to pass, and be prepared for that to last for a very long time.

    I’ve said a few times that I almost preferr interacting with “crazy people.” The reason why is that they come with a warning lable. Think of it, you can kinda rearrange your daily intake of calories if you know that muffin you had for breakfast had 600 , and eat a little less later right? Birth children, and “normal” people are like a muffin without a label………….

    2. Sorry, finally getting to the second point….any person who enters your life will scare you if you have a good sense of care for yourself and others. They will impact everyone else in your life; mostly in ways that you won’t even know about until 20 years later. The truth about motherhood is that it is really like being everyone’s favorite, and the one to blame for everything that isn’t “perfect.” Children tell us years later secrets about ourselves that we hid so long from ourselves that WE forgot about it. I’ve said “oh my God, I am so sorry” no fewer than a million times just this year…..

    Whomever you bring into your life is going to be a blessing to you and your family…and you are going to be the blessing for that person (and more later, I suspect). It is going to be beautifuly and ugly. Somedays more ugly than beautiful…..things that you didn’t know made you crazy will make you question who you are. Know this: when you are a mother, that will be neither here nor there. Statements like that will make you shrug and say “well, ya….”

    Your children are your children, period. The second someone becomes your child (and don’t worry about a timeline—-it’s unpredictable) there isn’t anything that can be done to reverse it……you might want to a few times/week, but toooo bad 😉

    Anyway, you already sound exactly like a new mom; trying to plan, worrying about your family, ect. You will learn like all of us do that no planning works, no worrying will ever lead you to what you were worried about–it will be something ELSE that bites you. And hopefully, your heart will be so wrapped around this “anyone” that you’ll never be afraid of the stuff that can and will happen.

    I know I already told you that I’m proud of you……if you didn’ t hear it before: I’m PROUD of you !!

    Ps, I am not afraid of babysitting, or giving the crazy persons viewpoint. Feel free to ask when needed :

    1. Amber!! We recently decided I was adopted into her family I literally read the entire thing and didn’t realize it was YOU until the very end! I can’t say that my jaw didn’t drop a few times in there. Thank you for being open- It gave me an extremely different perspective on The One. I was told that she is one of the agencies more sought after teens but due to x,y,z- they never fall through (perhaps the hurricane you mentioned). I agree that young/older- it will be a change for me and my family…beautiful & ugly! I’ve been set on The One since around February and was WAY more relaxed about it compared to now! I suppose I do sound like a new mom. Worrying/Whining?? I still want to pursue a relationship with The One (“big sister” type) if she will have me. Sometimes our blessings aren’t wrapped pretty and perfect but it is exactly what we wanted or needed. I have to at least meet her.
      Thank you for reading and responding to my blog, Amber. Much appreciated 🙂

      1. You sound exactly like a 7-8 month pregger new mom–without all the not fun side effects of pregnant. Ever noticed how the new ones look insane? 1. They just found out they could love like that and its like heroin, 2. they are scared to death of everything on earth that is harmful that they just realized WAS harmful. It makes women crazy in a good way. . .

        Just a thought, but maybe you’re supposed to have “one ” and “two” .If you still want to pursue any relationship with her, it means something more than just random caring. Does she not want to be placed? That does happen. The movie White Oleander is about a girl in different foster homes—eventually the character wants to be placed with someone she considers neglectful I guess to keep from any more influence or harm from the foster parents. It must be common if it’s in a cheesy movie , poor kids.

        Just another tidbit about YOUR adoptors: we had a “one.” She didn’t make it. She died horribly when I was about 14. If you ask my parents, I’m sure they will still question their decision to bring her home to us. She did change me and my sister. In fact, I did alot of those things I mentioned before in anger because I thought my parents threw her away, and it was their fault she wasn’t saved. I think they still believe she was the initiator that caused me all of those problems. Some of that is why, but more importantly, I credit her with saving MY LIFE. Of all the stupid things I did, drugs was never one of them. I had more than ample opportunity, and I’m sure otherwise I would have been just like any other overly curious kid. And I’m sure no one would have ever heard of me again. Any chance I ever had I could hear her “you don’t want to be like me little girl, remember that……”

        sometimes God gives us one pain, to save us from another. Anyway, I consider her my sister, and my Joan of Arc……I still miss her every single day

  2. Hi! I just came across your blog and thought I would comment because it sounds like we are about to start a pretty similar journey. I’m 27, single and about to qualify to become a foster mum (hopefully by the end of next month), although I do live in Australia, so that bit is a bit different 🙂 Looking forward to hearing how your story unfolds.

    N

  3. Hello Puddin, Wow! I am just so incredibly proud of you and happy for you in this journey that you are undertaking. There are so many beautiful children and young people who would benefit from your care and nurturing. God bless you!

    1. Thank you! I’m pumped and nervous…all wrapped together. I know that it is in God’s plans for us to care for the children. I’m just being obedient to this call on my life~ God bless you too!

  4. Congratulations on your new journey into foster care. Thanks for stopping by my blog. When I was initially licensed eighteen years ago, I was licensed for one between the ages of 3 and 5. I didn’t want to deal with being a new parent and school all at the same time. My first placement was 28 months old. I had a twin bed and made it work (later on with another placement, after I was smarter, I got a plastic side rail that fits under the mattress). Handling just one as you learn the ropes of the system is a smart choice. There is always room to expand later! Daycare is the big issue to solve early on. You will need to build a great trust with your daycare provider. Depending on where you live, rules are different on who you can use (center or in home). Please feel free to ask away!

  5. I completely agree! I think one is safest and will help me transition. I am a little in denial that shortly here..I will be someone’s foster mom!

  6. Fostering is so humbling and enriching. Sometimes I sort of wished we did not close our license but we felt the Lord leading us to stop for a while….who knows what the future will hold! Bless you as you continue on this journey!

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