Sunday, March 3, 2013

Foster Care is My Haiti

I read this blog back in November and it so resonated with me. I think back to the girl I was, waiting by the window in August of 2009 for my first placement. I think if she had known where it was all gonna lead, she would have locked the door and lowered the blinds. I think if she had known just how tied her heart would become to a system that would pulverize it over and over again, she would have run. If she had known that she would learn more than she ever wanted to know about despair and brokenness, both her own and that of humanity, she would have made up an excuse or been too busy to answer the phone that day. If she had known how much sleep she would lose or how many breaths she would hold, she would have never agreed.

My plan was never to be a trauma-mama, or a mother-of-many. My plan was to adopt, preferably a baby or two -- I couldn't for the life of me figure out why God said foster care and not Uganda, or Haiti, or the Philippines. But it was loud and it was clear, and honestly, once we started down the road, we didn't look back, question, or consider much else. If that girl had known, she would have never agreed. 

I am so glad she didn't know. See, she was OK with the idea of laying down her life when she didn't know what it meant. She prayed: "Your will, not mine" without really counting the cost.

I hate foster care and I say that with deep affection for it. 

The grief and loss I carry from it is so heavy, but I wouldn't trade it. You see, the only way to trade it is to have never known or parented those six children who came through our home. To trade it is to not have my boys. The other night I was praying and talking to God about the waiting. I said: "God, I feel like I have been in transition for three-and-a-half years. Waiting. Waiting to hear about a placement, a permanency plan, a selection staffing, a hearing, a trial, an appeal. I have been waiting three-and-a-half years to move on with my life." 

Very clearly, I heard: "Beloved, this is your life."