When Trent and I walked into the Bair Foundation office in mid August for our initial info gathering appointment with the Intake Director, we thought we were just covering all the bases, learning about foster care and adoption through foster care just so we could say we did. It sounded waaay too hard and waaay out of our league.
Taking care of a child and then possibly letting them go...not knowing whether they would be our first forever child...possible physical and sexual abuse...neglect...court dates...birth parent visits...behavior problems...medical problems...social workers...therapists...so, so many unknowns...
We thought "There's no way God is leading us to this, maybe in several years when we've actually done a bit of parenting."
Well, funny thing about God...
Trent and I walked out of the Bair office after talking with Melanie for an hour about the system, the kids, the process. We got in my car and I turned it on but we didn't go anywhere for a few minutes, even though we both needed to get back to work.
Trent said "That felt really, really normal to sit there and talk about all that."
I said "I know."
The feelings from June came back, and it felt exactly the same, a strange mixture in my heart and in my gut of both peace and fear. It was "yes, this is right" mixed with "you have got to be kidding me." And I began to cry. Partly because that is just what I do in lots of situations because I am Anna, but mostly because tears seem to automatically accompany those feelings from June. We talked during the ten or so minute drive from Bair back to my office where Trent had left the motorcycle, me staring wide eyed over the steering wheel with tears on my cheeks and Trent staring wide eyed at me.
Then we went back to work.
We decided to allow ourselves ample time to simply sit on this idea, to see how we felt about it, to see if it fizzled like our other possible routes, to talk and pray and search ourselves and figure out if we really felt up to this. We told ourselves that if we decided this route was too scary, too much for us to handle emotionally or too early to embark on, we'd just go back to the domestic infant adoption idea. Well, it is indeed pretty scary, it'll be a whole lot to handle emotionally and we have gathered that we are indeed on the younger end of the foster parent age range. But we realized after a little while that there was no point in sitting on the idea any longer when we already knew in our hearts what we were supposed to do.
So we emailed Melanie and told her "We're in".
Then we attended 8 hours of orientation, spent a lot of time pulling various paperwork items together and jumped full force into our checklist of things we had to provide or do in order to be licensed. Then Melanie went back to school and a lady from the Austin Bair office sort of covered for Melanie's Waco duties. Then we were told that the Waco Bair office is closing and we found ourselves more or less back to square one. Here we are in this state of limbo, not knowing what is ahead or what we need to do yet, lots of unknowns and frustration, lots of different voices talking at us from Bair and DFPS as we try to get back on track.
Hmm...limbo, unknowns, frustration, lots of social workers? That kind of sounds like foster care itself...
The phrases "It will all work together for good" or "It's all part of God's plan" are kind of annoying to hear when you are still surrounded by the bad and are still trying to figure out what the heck God's plan is. But, I will begrudgingly admit that those things are true in this situation. As I stated in my first blog post about all this, "God is calling the shots here." And that's why we're not running away with our tail between our legs, just because our first set of plans fell through. If we do that now, there is no way in heck we'll be able to handle the craziness of foster care itself.
For now, we are back to asking and seeking. We are learning patience and trust by the truckload and we still have God on speed dial. We're not sure what direction this will take: another agency, DFPS itself, some other crazy curve ball God hasn't thrown our way yet? We don't know.
But we do know that there are children right here around us, in our own city, county and state, that need safety and love. Lots and lots of them. Maybe some will come and go. Maybe some will stay with us forever. But they are out there. And we want to love them.