A few years ago, a friend of mine found out she was pregnant. For the first couple of weeks, she was devastated. Bless her heart. She cried so much that mutual friends were asking me if I knew what was wrong (since she hadn’t shared the news yet). Her shock and sadness were accompanied by guilt. After all, she knew that babies are blessings, she knew that she would love this little person, she knew that she should be grateful. But she knew other things too. She knew that their family felt complete already, she knew that sometimes she felt stretched too thin, she knew that she had been enjoying seeing the light at the end of the baby-raising tunnel. Of course, she was ready and eager for said baby by the time he arrived. And, of course, his blue-eyed grin lights up her facebook page on a regular basis. But it took a little bit of time.
All of this is to introduce the surprise news that…we’re pregnant!
Just kidding. Since Jason had the Big V shortly after Hayden was born and I had all my baby-making parts removed a few years ago, this would be quite the miraculous news.
However. We had court this past week. And the development that we were all psyched about last summer…but had since been taken off the table…and we were honestly a little relieved about that…happened. The goal for the F’s is no longer “return home” (as it always starts for foster kids); now it’s “termination of rights.” In other words, the plan is no longer for them to go back to Mom and Dad; the new plan is for them to stay with us. Forever and ever. Amen.
So…here we sit. And we find ourselves experiencing quite a few of the emotions my friend did a few years ago. We know that these children are blessings, we know that we already love these little people, we know that we should be grateful. But we know other things too. We know that our family sometimes feels complete already, we know that sometimes we feel stretched too thin, we know that we had been enjoying seeing the light at the end of the baby-raising tunnel. Of course, we will be ready and eager by the time he arrived. It will just take a little bit of time.
But we have no choice but to believe that God has sent these kids to us. It’s just not that common that things work out this way. They counsel you over and over again not to foster parent with the hope of adopting. I have told young couples that myself on many occasions. Years ago…when we first became foster parents…and our very first placement ended up being free to adopt…it truly was nothing short of a miracle. So…a few years ago…when we decided to start fostering again…it was with the full assurance that it would be just that: fostering. After all, what were the chances that we would beat the odds again?!
Evidently, pretty good. Maybe we should start playing the lottery. Eventually (good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, as my mother used to say), these weary parents of six will be parents of nine. It scares us and thrills us, all at the same time. Eventually, their brown-eyed and hazel-eyed and blue-eyed grins will light up my facebook page on a regular basis.
However…since the gestation time for DCFS is considerably longer than that of a normal human being…it will almost assuredly be longer than nine months. This is a bummer mainly because our foster parenting license expires in December..so it will have to be renewed…which means quite a bit of time and work on our part…sigh.
At least I have an excuse to eat for two (or four).