Sunday, April 21, 2013

Foster Care Pause Again, Plus A Heartfelt FYI

Well, as I mentioned in this post, what we thought was our new foster care plan of action is once again on pause.   It's the exact same plan: work directly with DFPS and start with an intro meeting.  We are just delayed another month.

Our intro meeting was supposed to be April 8th and I had made plans to leave work for it, even though by that point I was working 12 hour days heading towards the tax deadline.  I decided to check the website to make sure the meeting was still wasn't.  So I called the DFPS office and the very, very nice lady who leads the meetings told me it had been moved to May 13th.  She said they had gone to holding this intro meeting quarterly, which doesn't really make sense to me since they last had one in January and had scheduled one for April...that seems quarterly to me. I confirmed with her that this intro meeting is the only way to begin, it is the first step.

A small part of me was glad that I suddenly didn't have to leave work for several hours during our busiest time and I could work the whole evening after all.  I was glad I had called to confirm instead of driving downtown and finding nobody.

But the rest of me was very, very frustrated and I couldn't help but get upset.  I texted Trent about the new development and he was frustrated as well.  We knew we were headed for crazy when we decided to pursue this, but we didn't think it would take over eight months just to crack the system and get our foot in the door.  In a system with a huge need for foster parents, we kinda thought it would be easier to get going.  One consolation is that if someone was trying to do this for the wrong reasons or wasn't truly devoted, they would have given up already.

It was last summer when we decided to begin going down this path.  At that time our plan was to simply adopt a child somehow. Foster care wasn't in the picture yet.  Last summer, at ages 25 and 26, we knew we weren't quite ready to be parents but we made the decision to go ahead and begin pursuing adoption then because we knew it could take a long time, even years.  If we waited until we were "ready" to be parents and then began all this, we'd then have to very impatiently wait through the long process to get there and would actually have kids with us long after we were ready for them.  I have been reminding myself of this fact in the last two weeks: we left ourselves lots of time to get all this figured out and taken care of.

I'd like to end with a sort of public service announcement or maybe just an FYI.  I'm trying to figure out how to best say this to shed some light on the subject but not sound like it's a huge deal, because it's not really.  But, amidst these setbacks, there are two reactions or responses that are not helpful:

1. Implying we should give up or that we aren't supposed to do this after all.  We are of course tuned in for clues from God to direct us and if that ends up looking like we are not on the right path, then we will listen.  But we don't believe that is the case at this point.  We did not sign up for easy and we are fully aware of that.  Maybe these setbacks and frustrations are totally on purpose so that we can get a little practice with being flexible and dealing with disappointment while we are still dealing with simple things like meeting dates and not yet dealing with major things like behavioral intervention, birth parent visits and court dates.  We are pressing on. We are trying to build a family.  I know it's in a very different way than most, but we are trying.  If you had a friend confide in you that they were trying to have a baby but a few months had passed with no pregnancy yet, would you tell them to just give up?  That it wasn't God's plan for them?  That they heard wrong?  Or would you encourage, console and pray for them?

2. Implying that we should just get pregnant and have a baby, because that would be a lot easier, faster and more predictable.   We are fully aware of this and I will be the first to tell you that since heading down this path, I have thought many times "Having a baby seems like a piece of cake compared to this."  I have also recently realized that, instead of announcing last fall that we were pursuing adoption, we had announced that we were pregnant, we would have a child next month...  It's with a little sadness that I realize that, but as I said above, we did not sign up for easy and we did not sign up for predictable or quick.  Jesus did not tell us "Pick up your easy life plan with a complete and unwavering itinerary and follow me."

So there's a little heart dump from me to the general populace.  Whew.  Once again, just a heartfelt FYI.


And now it's time for Bible study. Toodaloo.

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