Since the kiddo arrived last week, very little has gone as we expected. Our plans for his school have changed several times. His behavior is different from what we were expecting (in a positive way). Considering that he was suddenly dropped into a new life, we think he is doing great.
I expected that I would post more on this blog about what is going on with him and his situation. I knew I would not be able to say much but I find myself not wanting to say anything at all. I feel incredibly protective of his privacy and his story. It is his, not ours. Additionally, we are pretty exhausted by the time he gets into bed and all we want to do is complete our Bible reading (we are both doing One Year Through the Bible plans) and catch up on LOST (or whatever TV show we have missed – so glad there is Hulu). D usually has some homework to take care of as well. Blog time – to write or read – is limited and I made some serious cuts to my Google Reader this past week.
A lot of people (including myself) expected that any kids placed with us would call us “mom” and “dad.” Many people have asked us what he calls us. Honestly, having him call us mom and dad only seemed like it would add to an already confusing situation. And you really don’t need to be addressed by those titles to fulfill those roles. No one calls me “mom” but I am definitely doing a whole lot of mothering. However, he did ask me if the other day if I was a “mommy” and what I told him was that I was the “mommy” at our house and that D was the “daddy” but he did not have to call us that. Should his situation change, we may have the address the topic again but we will just have to wait it out and see what happens.
I also expected that at this point in our process people (those who we have talked to about foster care) would understand that this may be a temporary situation (and it is looking like this one is). But many people still seem very confused about this and that we are at peace with the possibility of this kiddo returning to his family. Are we going to miss him? Absolutely. Are we going to be sad? Totally. But do we want to adopt a kid who has a good parent/parents already? No, we think he/she/they deserve a second chance. We are trusting the system to make that decision and we are trusting God with the life of this kiddo (just as we would be doing had he been born biologically to us).
I’m not saying this to vent frustration because I really do not mind the opportunities to educate people on foster care. However, it has made me realize even more how great the lack of knowledge about foster care is in the general public. The number is not small: 500,000 in foster care. Based on the number alone, we (especially the Church) should be seeking a better understanding and opportunities to help.
In addition to those 500,000 foster kids, there are moms and dads attached to them. People who have made bad choices. People who are hurting. People who may deserve a second chance.
For a long time in the pro-life movement, we only focused on the baby. Those against abortion were seen as anti-woman for not caring about the mother. This has since changed and the majority of the pro-life movement now recognizes that you must also focus on the mother (and the father) if you truly want to help the child. We need (and are trying) to take this same attitude to foster care.
So, do we think everyone should be foster parents and/or adopt kids? I love the way this blog post addressed this question: What is a good reason you shouldn’t?