I can’t live a “What If” life

The last few weeks have been full of questions. Will we foster again? Will we stop? Will she come back? Being a foster parent is emotionally draining.

I ran into someone today while taking our new little guy to the doctor. We made small talk and then she asked “Well what if baby Peaches comes back into state custody? What will you do then?”

What if? Such a small question with a huge meaning. We can’t live in a what if world. Do we miss Peaches? Yes, we miss her terribly. Do I wish she would come back to us for a third time? Yes. But that’s not how foster care works. My wants are just that mine, they are not part of the big picture. My part in this is to love them while they are here. To protect them, feed them, hold them, sing with them, and pray with them. If I lived in a what if world then I would not have my Wild Man. Without him we would not have his half siblings. What if we would have waited to see if Sweet Syd, or Fanni, or Chasers, or Princess E or Princess N were coming back? Did part of me wish they would come back? Yes, when you love someone you never want to see them leave and you catch yourself thinking what if they were still here? What would our lives be like? What if they do come back into State care? Will the worker call me like they promised? Or was that just a lie? We would not have meet half of the children we have and our family would not be who we are today if we focused on all the what if’s.

And for the record; We are not replacing any of them in our hearts. I know we can’t save them all, but just like the little boy on the beach throwing the starfish back on the ocean we can safe one more. Choosing to reopen our home after a child is reunified with family or moved to their forever home is one of the hardest decisions we have to make, it does not mean we are heartless. In fact it’s quite the opposite. As much as our hearts ache for those little ones we know we were just a small part of God’s big plan for them. We also know that there are other children that need us. With children coming into the system every single day the need will never go away. We miss the ones that have been in our home we miss their smiles, their giggles, their snuggles, and their presence in our home. But God had a different plan for all of us.

If we focus on all the What if’s we will never be able to move forward. Do I worry what this is doing to my children? Yes, all the time. I pray that they will see we are only doing our part in helping Gods plan unfold for these precious children. I pray that one day they look back and remember how much Love was in our home. I pray they grow up and find their place is Gods Story. I pray they learn to love others and hope they serve others when they are older. I pray we not only shape their lives but also he lives that come through our home.

If we would have focused on the what if I would not be here rocking this little guy to sleep tonight. His time with us will be short but while he is here he will be loved. He will receive my whole heart just as she did. He will know he is safe. And that is how it is meant to be.

The Next Chapter in our Foster Care Journey 

How to start this blog, let me think let me think…….

  Well as most of you know my husband and I were foster parents for six years back home before his job transferred us out of state. Most of you also know that in those six years we were able to provide a safe loving home for over 20 children, five of which we were blessed to adopt.  When we moved we knew our foster parent days were over and we were okay with that. The journey had been eye opening, heartbreaking, joyful and at times overwhelming. Yes there were many ups and downs but helping the kids far surpassed the aggravation that is the system.  We would miss our friendships we made along the way but our fostering days were done. 

Jump forward to this year…

The thing about being a foster parent is once a foster parent your mind always thinks like a foster parent, you can’t just shake it off.  No matter where you are there are children hurting and in need of a safe place to call home. We would see stories on the local news such as drug charges or overdoses and even though the children are seldom mentioned we knew they were there.  As a foster parent you watch the news a little different that most people.  Our hearts would break. But how could we help down here? We knew we didn’t have time to take the training classes again and  we knew most people would say we were nuts.

A few months back I actually had a dear friend tell me “You’ve done your part let someone else worry about them.  There are others out there that can help. After all you know you can’t save them all.”  Not going to lie hearing these words hurt.  My husband and I know we are not superheroes, we know we can’t save them all but if we could help just one or two while here we wanted to. And as far as the others helping out those people are few and far between.  In our new state there are around 4,000 foster homes.  That sounds like a lot but when the state population is around 6 million (yes 6 million) 4,000 does not seem like such a large number. We wrestled with the idea of what to do.  Many friends and family members didn’t want us to adopt anymore after we adopted Diva and Wild Man. But we did.  Many questioned us to what are real motives were by saying things like we were baby hoggers or that we must be making loads of money seeing we keep taking in kid after kid.  I can assure you while we were foster parents we spent far more out of our pockets each month than what the state paid, it’s not about the money.  People can be so cruel.  But I keep telling myself we don’t answer to these people. We answer God. 

Diva and I were having lunch a while back and she said “Mommy I talked to God last night and He told me all about our new baby sister.  She is so tiny mommy. Oh and we are naming her Eden Grace. She will be ours in 2018.”  As I finished chewing up my peanut butter sandwich I looked for words to explain to her that this was not possible. That we didn’t plan on adopting anymore children.  But I found none.  How could I tell her she hadn’t really talked to God about a new baby when I had personally had a similar dream about our son Big Al.  We finished lunch and we went on about our day.  When my husband came home I told him about our daughters dream.  We had a good laugh but then he said we do have room for one more girl. He is such an amazing man. 

I called around to a couple of foster agencies and inquired on how to become a foster parent here.  I won’t bore you with all of that (if you want to read about the process it’s all in my upcoming book 😊) let’s just say when God is not finished with you things get done, even the impossible.  We kept the process quite from all most everyone, we didn’t need negativity about our decision.  Only a few people knew about it seeing we needed them to complete our forms.  This time around we would not be able to take in large groups of siblings. We already have our five little loves and our state only allows six children in the home.  This go around we would only be able to help one. One girl. One girl between the ages of newborn to 10.  That is like finding a needle in a haystack.  The odds where not in our favor to be able to help, however our sweet caseworker told us we were still good candidates and encouraged us the whole process.   

Then a few months ago we were finally approved.  We had discussed what we were comfortable with and decided that a girl between 4 and 10 is what would best fit our family. We would take a baby if necessary but in foster care babies always find a home so our focus was the older girls.   

I can’t help but think God was laughing at us once again and saying something like Child stick with what you know.  

After a few placement calls and turning them down(most were sibling groups) I sat in the middle of my kitchen floor and prayed. I felt like maybe we weren’t meant to help out down here, saying no is so hard when you know these precious children need someone.  Maybe it was time for us to stop. I prayed God if we are meant to help here show me how show me where. After that little chat with Jesus I picked myself up off the floor, feeling that if we didn’t get a placement it was okay.  We would find another way to help out somewhere else.
Almost a month after that chat my phone rang.  

Sometimes We must wait before God calls on us.  And when He calls we must be ready.  

So to put it out there, yes we are now active foster parents.  Now that our parents have met the little one we can tell everyone else. Having six little loves in our home is such a blessing.  We love what we do.  I know many will never understand why we do what we do, and that’s okay. I know many will think we are crazy, and that’s okay.  I know some will even be mad and upset at us, and even that’s okay.  

As for me and my husband we can’t set back and watch the news and the events that happen around us and not do something.  We have the room, we have a vehicle large enough, but most importantly we have enough love in our hearts. We are not superheroes, we don’t think we can save them all, the truth is we know we can’t. But we can help one more, one at a time.  And that’s what we plan on doing. 
From our beautiful chaos to yours let’s see where the next chapter takes us.