Our journey into foster care is two weeks old now, so let me tell you everything I know – it won’t take long.
- I don’t know much at all.
There is a steep learning curve and I’m in it. This was a respite stay that became a placement – not the typical way one becomes a foster parent. We have been scrambling to get licensed and I think we’re nearly there. We’ll have six months to complete our training.
- There are a lot of people involved.
I’m constantly meeting people with different roles and responsibilities. I need a chart showing who everyone is and what their responsibilities are. I’m pretty sure I’m calling the wrong person about the wrong thing most of the time.
- There are lots of boxes to check.
Sunday night I wrote my autobiography, quickly and simply, but I wrote it. We’ve reported our monthly income and expenses, asked friends to be references, been background checked and fingerprinted, and given our doctors permission to share our medical info. Did I mention it’s all worth it?
- Safety matters.
We’ve put up a new smoke/carbon monoxide detector, rehung the interior garage door we had taken down to repair the weather stripping, our well is being tested, and we’re getting safer by the second.
- There are rules and regulations to learn.
I’m reading about rules and regulations – like not crossing state lines. I haven’t actually read that one yet, only heard about it. Did I mention we practically live on a state line? I’m pretty sure that running to our favorite pizza place doesn’t count. Or does it? One more thing to find out.
- Teen girls have a lot of stuff.
Beza and Zoe (nickname) have the biggest bedroom in the house and they’ve managed to fill it with clothes, shoes, and stuff. Beza is in Colorado at camp this week, so Claire has migrated down to that bedroom adding some of her stuff too. Mercy, they have a lot of stuff! I think we need more shelving, or magical storage space.
One thing I do know is that my girls have big hearts and they have taken in Zoe as if she has always been part of their lives. They’ve played numerous games of Life, listened to music, tried to persuade her to dance, baked cookies, cooked dinner, decorated bedrooms, and gone to the farmers market for mini doughnuts.
I overheard Beza say, “I like you. I like people who’ve been through hard times.” She left off, “Like me,” but that’s what she meant.
They understand each other – they can relax with one another. No need to be fake around our house; we’re not strangers to hard times.
We still don’t know what is going to happen, we only know that we’re glad she’s here and thankful that God chose us for this time in her life.
Last night Wogauyu said, “Zoe, it seems like you’ve always been here.” She replied, “If I leave, you won’t even remember me.” I said, “That’s not true. We won’t forget you – already, we won’t forget you.”
We have a good father who loves these kids so much – what a privilege to get to love them too.
[note: Since writing this I’ve learned that we can cross into WA state or Montana to a nearby city for the day without permission. If we travel overnight, we need permission. I just submitted our travel plans and hope we’ll be able to take Zoe with us to Whidbey Island this summer. You know how much we love that place!]
[I explained to Zoe that I have a blog and that I will never write anything about her without her permission, nor will I share her story. Most of what I write about foster care will be what I learn in my journey of becoming a foster mom. Also, she chose the name Zoe as her blog nickname, it is not her real name.]
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