That is what I have often compared waiting for a foster placement to...
Waiting for a heart transplant.
I know I've talked about how much I dislike the waiting...
And about how I've spent my time obsessively planning...
But also, I've been thinking about what a a double edged sword this waiting is really.
I am excited to be a foster parent. I won't apologize for that fact. I'm excited to be a parent - its a role I've wanted to have since I was very young. I never really wanted a career, I became a social worker because I loved kids, and I've grown to love it. But being a mom was always my first choice.
But life hasn't played out the way I thought it would. And although I could try to get pregnant and have biological children, becoming a foster parent just seemed like the right choice for me for now.
I'm ready to be a parent - even if it is temporary.
But as excited as I am, and as much as I want my phone to ring, there is a part of me that realizes that in order for my dream to come true...something very bad has to happen.
Kinda like waiting for a heart transplant, no?
Somewhere out there, maybe not even born yet, is a child that will eventually live with me. But in order for that child to come into my life, something very sad must happen to them. Their family will have some kind of crisis. Abuse or neglect will touch this child. I believe all parents love their children. This child's parents love him or her. They had hopes, dreams and plans for how they were going to parent their child. And those plans are not going to have worked out the way they expected.
This child will lose their family when they come to me.
And no matter how many plans I have made and how excited I am - that is the reality.
In all the plans I've made, I also have plans about how to handle this double edged sword. I hope to have a relationship with my foster child's parents. I've said I will supervise visits and will give them my phone number. I certainly hope everything goes along with my plans. (Knowing foster care, it probably will throw me a few curveballs!)
But when I pray at night, I don't just pray for the child that will come to my home. I pray for their whole family. I pray that, even though things are not good right now, that they will try to protect their child as much as they can. I pray that the right people will intervene before things get too bad. I pray that when the time comes, I can provide the family with some reassurance that I care about all of them, not just the child.
And then I go back to waiting...