Have you ever had so many emotions running through your mind that you really don't know how to answer someone when they ask you "how are you feeling?"
Lately, I truly don't know how to answer that question, because I'm feeling excited, scared, happy, sad, nervous, frustrated, blessed and overwhelmed. Did you notice how all-over-the-place those emotions are?
So....we're supposed to get our first placement today! It may or may not happen depending on a judge's signature and we've already had our introduction to the frustrating "system" so who know what'll happen today?! I'll be able to give you a better answer tonight so if you have my number, please feel free to shoot me a text! I love to know that people are praying for us and thinking of us.
I'VE BEEN EXCITED. I'm thrilled to be getting a child in our home! This is what we've been anticipating and we're really really excited to finally have children here. We have 7 open beds that are ready for warm bodies! We're excited to learn more about the kids, love on them and show them the love of Jesus. We're excited to take them hiking, play board games with them, watch movies with them and even cry with them when times are tough (which will be SO often!).
I'VE BEEN SAD. Now while we're excited to get a child or children in our home, so much sadness comes along with it. This is NOT an exciting time for the children. They were let down by their own parents/family and entered into a broken system. I don't want to jump for joy when they get here and I also don't want to break into tears (which I'm totally afraid that I'll do). It's such a weird feeling to be excited to meet them, but hurt for them in this really sucky time in their lives. People tell us "congrats" and while it's kind of is a "yay" time for us, it's not AT ALL for them. There is usually no joy in being torn from your own family, even if it was an abusive situation.
I'VE BEEN SCARED. There is always that fear of failure. Have you mamas felt like that right before you had a baby? "What if I mess up?" "What if I'm a bad mom?" "What if the child hates me?" The truth is, I will mess up. All parents do. But with the help of the Lord, I'll get back up and learn from my mistakes. Only He can give me the strength to parent in the way that He wants. I know parenting is hard, but parenting through the foster system has it's own complications added to it. There will be some things that some moms just don't understand and there will be some where they can help me.
I'VE BEEN HOPEFUL. Since God called us to this mission, He will get us through it. I have to rely on His strength and not my own, especially when it really sucks. Let me say this - we know that we don't know how hard it's going to be, but that doesn't stop us from being hopeful. God hasn't called us to live a comfortable life. Sometimes, living to glorify Him is uncomfortable - it's hard, but worth it.
I'VE BEEN FRUSTRATED. I don't want to offend anyone here. So please bear with me. It's hard when you don't feel understood. We're different. Most people aren't going to understand why we're fostering so we don't have their support - even family members. We've been surprised, because there are some people that we thought would support us, that haven't. If I were having a baby, they'd be all about the baby showers and asking questions about gender and nursery and names. But because I'm not, some didn't come to our "new parent shower" and when we've updated them, they just say "congrats" or "it'll be interesting" or nothing. We can tell who genuinely cares by the questions that people ask us. On another note, the system is frustrating. It's just so broken and sometimes you wonder who really has the best interest of the children in mind.
I'VE FELT BLESSED. I know that God is calling us to a big thing. I feel so humbled that He's chosen to use us. I will probably look back and think "oh my goodness I had NO clue as to what was in store for us," but I do know one thing - we're following what God has told us and that's all that matters. We'll get through it no matter what the journey ends up looking like. I just pray that He was glorified through it all.