Thursday, October 13, 2016

The reality of foster care

I would like to make an honest effort to keep up with this blog. I've got lots to say, just can't figure out how to put it into writing.

Here I am, officially licensed for one year. My first foster placement has come and gone. I just re-read my previous post about her. Whew, to think that things actually got way worse after that post. In one month after that post my previous foster's daughter would change forever by a traumatizing experience. She would never be the same. I learned to trust on God way more than I ever thought I could. She has turned 18 now and is out of system. I still keep in contact with her, but have needed to step back a little from the relationship for some personal reasons.

On top of the trauma that happened, a good thing happened. I have bought my very first house. Yay! I'm so proud of my small, but perfect little three bedroom house. One of the first things I made sure was ready was a bedroom for a new child in need. May 20th, I got my call for my second placement. She's been with me almost 5 months now. She's 12, quirky, fun, and very intellectual about a lot of things. Having her has shown me the reality of foster care though. My first placement was a weird, complicated situation all around and NOTHING like I had imagined. My second placement is more of what I imagined situation wise, but she's such a great kid! Is she traumatized by her past and the reason why she is foster care? Yes. But the way she has handled it has left me amazed. The only way I can describe how she is handling it is  with grace.

There are days where I'm silently angry at the situation she is in and why she is with me. Times I'm frustrated that mom cancels visits. Times I'm having to explain things to the kiddo in a way that she may understand, but censoring some of it because she shouldn't hear all the details of her case. Questioning why the kid does things that I find odd like eating dry pasta. She has siblings in the system as well, all in different homes. Of course, I never say anything out loud to her. Her love for her mom is so unconditional despite the fact that she completely understands what is going on. And I love that about her. I love her unwavering love for her mom. She is at a fragile age, 12 almost 13, puberty, hormones, middle school. Her love for her mom could honestly change in a matter of minutes, but for her, I don't think that will ever happen. Although I admit to times of harboring angry thoughts, God takes those thoughts and completely fills me with compassion for her mom when I see her. It is not okay how things happened, but we as Christians are to just love. It is not my job to judge. And if I do, I try to keep it to myself and pray to God about that. I believe in reunification with the family, that is the goal of foster care. I have included her family in a few things because the kiddo's life is still going on and I don't want them to miss it. After all, it is not about me at all, it's about that great 12 year old that God has blessed me with.

I find myself in a very unique place right now. Years ago, I vowed I would never return to my home state of Indiana. I would go to school to be a nurse and later become a missionary in another country. But now I moved back to Indiana 5 1/2 years ago, just bought a house, stopped school and now I'm a single foster parent. The place I am in is a place of peace, a place that God has placed me at the exact right time. I'm doing what I can, loving on kids who need some peace in their life amidst the life of chaos they have come from. It is a great place to be.

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