Being a foster mom is hard, the hardest thing I've ever done. I don't want to do it again. I never wanted to be a foster mom. I don't want to spend my life taking care of someone else's child. I didn't get in to this for the "ministry" of it. I never felt "called" to foster. I'm confused why God would take someone who so desperately wants a child of their own, and make them take care of kids, born to people who in some cases should never be having children, and then make her give them up....repeatedly. Sometimes I'm angry about it. Mostly, it just saddens me. The system sucks. Foster parents are lied to, misinformed, and sometimes unintentionally ill-informed. You get your heart broken repeatedly, and yet you do it again...and again. "Good" parenting is relative. The state does not have the same standards for parenting that you do. It is a struggle, even during those times when you don't have a child in your home.
These past 2 1/2 years have been a struggle. I fell totally in love with our first kiddo, even knowing she would never be "ours". We knew it was temporary but couldn't help it. I spent most of the time scared to death because of how sick she was. She became healthier and then she was gone. Then came the second round of kids. I was scared to fall in love again, so I didn't. Of course the little boy wasn't with us long enough for me to develop any kind of relationship with but his sister was with us for 202 days. I took care of her when she was sick with pneumonia, rushed her to the hospital, got her caught up on vaccinations, all that mommy stuff. I couldn't let myself fall in love with her. I cared for her a great deal but I couldn't deal with that heartbreak again. In the moment, you just DO. You're a mom. You do what needs to be done; doctor appointments, diaper changes, bathtimes, meals. You secretly love the pats on the back and the compliments from people who don't know what else to say. "Regular" moms don't get that. No one calls them heroes or angels. No one tells them they're amazing. Who doesn't like to hear "Wow, you're awesome!", "I could never do that", "you're an angel"? I loved the feeling I got when people would say nice things and make me feel like what I was doing was just so incredible. I was a rockstar!!
I....was a fraud.
I am a woman who wants so badly to be a mother that I'm willing to live under false pretenses of being this hero, rockstar person, taking care of someone else's child simply to hear a little one call me mommy. I'm not a foster mom because it was my intention to minister to these children. I didn't become a foster mom to mentor someone else in how to be a better parent. I got into this with the hopes that somewhere along the line someone would fail and I would be able to adopt their child. I'm not a foster mom because I'm so good and strong. I'm a foster mom because I'm selfish and weak.
All of this and in spite all these wrong reasons, it still feels like what I'm supposed to do. Like I said, I do NOT want to. After declaring that we wouldn't take any more kids in unless they were legally free and potentially adoptable, Cliff and I have, or more specifically, God has decided that we will. We will continue to foster until God calls us home or makes it crystal clear that we're done. For some reason, God put us in a house with extra bedrooms, with the means for me to stay home, and a heart to take care of kids whose parents can't for one reason or another. We don't know why God has brought us here. I'm reminded of Esther in the Bible. Her cousin told her, (Tamra's paraphrase) "help will come from somewhere else, but maybe you were made queen for such a time as this". I know there are other foster parents out there. There are other people who can take care of foster children, but who knows? Maybe I was made a foster mom, for such a time as this.
I don't want to love, lose and hurt again, but I will. Even though I don't feel "called", clearly I am. Your prayers are greatly appreciated as we prepare our house and hearts for more kiddos.