I'm writing from a vulnerable place this evening. Keepin' it real. Perhaps my blog tagline tonight should be "scared expectant foster mom, overwhelmed CPA and tired busy person...whose house is a wreck." Yeah, that's about right. But it took me two hours to make that new blog header so I'm going to leave it alone.
I recently met some new (really amazing) people at a Mission Waco meet-the-interns dinner and as I sat talking with a young mother, learning about each other, I answered her "do you have any kids?" question by launching into a conversation about our foster care trek. As I clued her in on our story from scratch, I kept hearing myself say "it'll be a challenge for sure" and "it'll definitely be interesting" when inside...I was kind of freaking out.
Last night I looked over some of my recent blog posts and realized...I somehow sound kind of knowledgeable about this foster care stuff and as if I'm very emotionally put together about it. Y'all, that's so not true. And I'm not trying to falsely portray that at all. Turns out a thought through and thrice edited blog post can come across a lot more polished and put together than if you were to spontaneously look into my heart.
Fear has crept in.
It has been there all along, to a degree, but lately it has been thick. Maybe it's because we're kind of left in a holding pattern right now, waiting to hear about our true next steps from DFPS. I don't know. But the sugar coated phrases like "it'll definitely be interesting" have taken a turn in my heart and become what the heck are we thinking?!
I can have an intelligent and somewhat knowledgeable conversation about the reasons kids come into care, but when you think a little further past the sanitized labels of "abuse and neglect"...we're talking about babies born addicted to drugs because the mom was...five year olds flirting sensually with any grown men they see because that's all they have learned...small, innocent bodies being hit, dropped, shaken, screamed at...cries of basic need left unmet until the little voice realizes it does no good and so falls silent... ...Where is Anna Pie the chirpy expectant foster mom now...
Sometimes I get overwhelmed by the gravity of this path. I get overwhelmed by the anticipation of struggle and heart break that we are intentionally heading towards. I get overwhelmed by logistics of what it will take to get there. I get overwhelmed by the fact that neither set of grandparents live in the same city as us and, on the contrary, are each three hours away. I get overwhelmed by the fact that we are leaving a solid church family right when we really need a solid church family. I get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff that we need to buy and the fact that the planner in me feels like we need to somehow have all the clothes, furniture, toys and supplies we need for the entire 7 year age range of children that could come into our care...all before we are even licensed...
This fear can get exhausting. But I'm learning that it's just part of this path we are on and is not a reason to send up the white flag.
My sweet friend, Steph, sent me a link to a blog post the other day, and I have read it about 53 times since. You can click here for the whole thing if you want to, but I'm going to close with a few of this random lady's words because she expresses what I am learning so, so much better than I ever could...
I've figured out that fear is a terrible reason not to live.
How often do we limit ourselves out of a fear of the messy and unpredictable?
What do we miss because we’re afraid of being disappointed or inconvenienced?
The call to discipleship is a call to live—today—the life that’s right in front of us.
And if it’s not about mercy or adventure, then maybe it’s about adhering to the faithful voice of God. Huge decisions beg for direction that’s bigger than a pros and cons list. Don’t avoid the radical, but do wait on God’s guidance. Ultimately, despite the risks, all that matters is whether or not this is what God is asking us to do. And if the spirit of God brings confirmation, then by all means, jump out of that plane.
We only have these few years on earth to love a broken world. And it may be that we’re called in radical ways to get over ourselves and hug this place without letting go.