In less than 12 hours we will be going through a home study as one of the next steps in preparing to become foster parents. I’m nervous because I really don’t have a good idea of what to expect and we have plenty of closets and drawers that should be upended, cleared out, and reorganized, but I simply haven’t had the time to do that yet this fall. The laundry is mostly all clean right now, and it’s all been sorted/folded, but it’s all sitting on our guest bed right now awaiting the right moment to grab some kids to go put their clothes away. I can’t really remember what it means to “baby proof” a house, so I’m sure we don’t have everything done that needs to be done. In fact, I’m kind of looking at tomorrow to provide us with the checklist of what we have to do to get signed off on the home study. Crossing fingers.
Aside from the nerve wracking home study, there really are a thousand reasons why pursuing foster care just doesn’t make sense for us at this moment in time. My mom is struggling with her ALS diagnosis and I want to be as available as I can to help in whatever way is needed there. I’m also on the hunt for a part-time job to help pay for some of the needs we have. I’m also continuing to homeschool our kids three days/week. Oh, yes, and I still need to attempt to keep this house in order, prepare meals for my family, and be emotionally present.
Are we completely crazy? I know a lot of people think we are. Maybe we are.
Earlier last week we had three dead trees cut down in our yard. As part of a pretty significant language barrier breakdown, the trees did not get hauled away like we thought was going to happen. Instead, they continue to sit in a heap in our front yard and we’re scrambling to figure out what to do about it all before we get turned in by a certain neighbor who apparently likes turning us in to the trash police for various infractions.
Our front yard feels very much like our life right now. Moved by the urgent, we act and then are left to deal with the consequences. It’s so anti-everything we’ve trained ourselves to believe is the proper way to live.
But that’s kind of the way foster care works. Nobody plans to have their kids removed from their home. The agencies don’t get an email that says, “Be sure to keep next Wednesday open because Baby Jane Doe is going to be taken from her home and she will need a temporary place to stay.” Nope. I’m pretty sure things don’t happen on that kind of schedule there. It’s going to be more of an “act on the urgent, sort out the ramifications later” kind of existence.
And you know what? Urgency never goes away. So we can say we don’t want our lives to be dictated by the urgent, but sometimes I just don’t think you can get around it. I’m thinking right now the key for us is how to manage the urgent in the midst of the everyday ordinary chaos we’re already got going on.
Because if I have to choose between a predictable, calm, and dust-free existence that says emergency foster care is someone else’s problem or our current state of the opposite of that that says we believe children belong in families, not shelters, even if it means our family, even if it means in the midst of everything else, then I’ll choose the chaos and the uncertainty.
I’ll choose it every time.