Over the past year, I have been going through the process to become a foster parent. I have a lot of emotions over this decision. I have been on an emotional rollercoaster through out this process, but I guess I will take you guys back to the beginning. The question I get most often is “why?” Why did I choose to go through this process? I have always had this passion in my heart… just to help others especially children. I attribute this to two reasons. The first, when I was in high school I remember watching an episode of ‘A different World’ where Freddie worked with a group of orphans and she was encouraging staff on campus to adopt this particular little boy. Well, no one wanted to adopt this little boy and he was so disappointed… I just remember him saying, “Why doesn’t anyone want me?” that broke my heart. I never want a child to feel that way, that they don’t matter or that no one cares about them. Over this past weekend, my mother reminded me that when I was younger (elementary school age) I would always encourage her to adopt a sibling for me… so I guess it has always sort of been in my heart, even before I really knew what it was. The second reason is attributed to a saying that one of my Aunt’s used to always tell me, “A kid is only a kid for a short time, they should be able to enjoy childhood and be a kid.” That is my goal, to allow a kid to be a kid!
I know it is going to be hard, I have gone through all of the emotions of an expectant parent. LOL! I have gone through excitement, fear, terror, sadness (yes, sadness at the loss of some of my freedoms), and joy as friends and family have supported me. As the process to become licensed has been coming to an end, I have found myself crying uncontrollably as I wonder what will happen next (when I tell you an emotional rollercoaster, I was not joking… LOL!). I have had folks encourage me, support me, tell me the truth and make me take a look at the hard side of becoming a foster parent. I have also experienced not so supportive people who make me feel as though I am making the biggest mistake of my life. It’s in those times, I have to dig down deep into myself and remember that God will give me the strength to get through each moment. Will it be easy? I don’t think so! Acting as a single parent will be tough. I was raised by a single mother, so I have seen first hand how hard it can be. Will it be tough? I do imagine. There are so many possible trauma’s that these children face and variables that I may not know how to handle. Will it be rewarding? I know it will! As long as I keep my focus on the purpose, I know that I will see nuggets and gems somewhere.
So, why did I make the decision to become a foster parent? If one child, even if they don’t remember my name or even me… if they can remember that at a moment in their life… there was a time when they felt safe and able to just be a kid, I will be happy.