I thought back when I was 23 that I wanted a baby. (Mostly triggered by nightime hormone induced dreams of being pregnant.) I thought the same at 24 and 25. But really I wanted the idea of a baby. I wanted a distraction, cute baby clothes, a shower, playdates. I wanted to choose a baby name. I wanted all of the things that really mark the difference between being pregnant and wanting to actually parent. I know that is true because the baby desire went into hibernation once we moved to DC, once I was in graduate school, we were traveling the world, and life was fun and flexible. I was really thankful the baby dream had not come true. I think the "baby dream" is similar to wanting a wedding and truly understanding the concept of marriage.
Do you want to know how I know we are ready to be parents now?
I know because last night we (and by we I mean J was fully on board) became a certified emergency foster home.
When you are truly ready to parent and nurture and deal with all of the difficult details of caring for a child and loving them through everything...when you become ok with the idea of your cream colored living room rug being destroyed and puke possibly ending up on your beautiful couch...when you know that dinner will now need to be served at a regular time every evening and that you may be consigned to 2 minute showers...then you are ready.
J noticed the news about Haiti 2 weeks ago and had concern about the orphaned children very early on. We know that children will probably not be brought to the U.S. for foster care. And we know that children need to be processed through tracing and reunification efforts now in Haiti. We support the international community in following well established guidelines on caring for children after complex emergencies.
But I think something about the entire situation struck a nerve with both of us. So many people in our country are so very willing to care for Haitian children if they were to come here. But there has always been a huge need for foster homes. If everyone interested in fostering Haitian children would become certified as foster homes for kids in their areas, well, wow! that would be amazing for the foster care system.
We didn't have to do much to turn our international homestudy into certification for foster care. It was easy! Next week we will sign the final papers, take our first aid class, and then we will be put on a list as foster parents.
We offered to be an emergency home for either gender up to age 3. Our area has a very large Spanish speaking population so my Spanish might come in handy.
I feel a great sense of peace and calm about this. Why struggle and struggle to overcome the desire to nurture and have a child in our lives when we can easily offer ourselves in this way while we wait for our daughter from Ethiopia?
I don't know if we will get a placement. But it could happen at any time day or night. Children come into foster care for all types of reasons. We would be the first home in an emergency and a placement could last 1 week - 1 month, or more if we chose. Ideally the child would be united with extended family or placed in a long-term foster home (with a family willing to adopt if needed after the whole process of reunification or termination of parental rights took place.)
I am eager to see what happens.
I think there are a lot of what ifs and contingencies and possibilities involved but for now we're answering a call we feel strongly about. And for me this is an answer to years of prayer about J's attitude towards fostering. I was a foster care caseworker for the first 2.5 years of our marriage. I know what a difference a good foster home, even a temporary one, can make.
- Me. Us. She.
- J and I have been married for almost 15 years. We have shared many adventures and a lot of watershed moments. In 2009 I began blogging and in 2010 we adopted our daughter from Ethiopia. In March of 2012 we began the process to adopt a little boy from Haiti. This blog follows the many twists and turns on the road to our two children and beyond.
- ▼ 2010 (106)