When we were going through the certification process, I was extremely comfortable through the process. I was able to plan and had a fairly clear cut calendar of how this would all play out. We were fortunate that things went according to plan and we had one very minor hiccup that delayed us a total of a week. Anyone who has been through the certification process knows that is a rarity and we understood that this was all in God’s timing and we were comfortable with that.
Now that we are certified and are in the process of fostering, I have found myself struggling. Yes, this is hard for me to admit. I very typically have things together and feel that when it comes to children, this should be very natural given my previous experiences, degree and love for children.
One thing is for certain… nothing prepares you to become a parent! While I do well with the day-to-day experiences I find that I almost innately refuse to allow myself to enjoy anything. I find it difficult to walk away and let my husband deal with things and will sometimes take my frustration out on him. It is unnerving to me, to be in this position. I crave calm, structure, I like when things are black and white and there is no in between. I also understand that this is a rarity and that life does not go this way. Though I have become less structured in my life, I still have a tendency to want those things.
So where does that leave things? Well, I am “learning to live” within this new lifestyle. I am learning, and need to do a better job of trusting God in a whole new way. I am also learning to be more open and to communicate better with my husband. I am learning to let go, let God, and to simply roll with each punch. For me this is not an easy task. There seems to be more self-dialogue going on in my head and I have to tell myself to enjoy the moments. My husband is reacting differently. He is making memories and taking in each moment. I admire that in him and know that he really gets it and is committed to what we are attempting to do in this journey. Not that I am not, but this comes more naturally to him.
When he comes through the door, he is ready for dinner with his family and ready to take the children and do something with them. He enjoys walks, trips to the park and whatever else he can think of in making memorable experiences with the children. I am learning to back off and let him take the lead in this role. I truly believe that there is much power in his role. I look at it like this… most often children have a strong connection with a mother figure in their lives, but the father figure is not always and most often not present. So within his role, he has much power to be a positive influence with the children in our home. So I will gladly back off.
Learning to live within this new journey is not easy. I will be the first to admit that. Visits, phone call after phone call from everyone involved in the lives of these children, appointment after appointment, and all that is entailed in being a parent can be a daunting task at times. Keeping court dates, planning meeting dates, and everything else in check keeps us on our toes. All while attempting to lead a “normal” life. I am not complaining. We are blessed, but today I was reminded of this one thing. I need to learn to live ALL the time and in the world of foster care, I live three months at a time. So, when there is a court hearing and it is determined that the children will remain in our care, I can begin to prepare for what is to come in the next three months. Whether that is a birthday, holiday or other events, I can allow myself to stop and enjoy these things, because for this moment, and it may be for only a moment, they are in our care and it is our job to love the children beyond measure and to be their safe place. Simply put, to share God’s love… after all, He sent his ONLY son for us!
John 3:16 ~ For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.