Today I had to clean my white board in my office to make room for a monthly calendar. We are working under a new scheduling protocol at work and I needed a way to display my schedule so visitors to my office would know when I am blocked off for a certain project.
In order to do that, I had to
delete erase several things that were on my board.
Like David’s artwork from last time he visited me.
I also erased something that has been on my board for nearly two years. I decided to blog about it so I would remember it.
About 3 ½ years ago when I decided to become a foster parent the reactions from friends, family, and even strangers varied wildly. One that I heard a lot was, “Oh my goodness, I could NEVER do that!” Others said, “You can’t do that! You’re divorced!” Yes, I am. And yes, I can.
A lot of people were supportive of my decision, but a lot of people thought I was just crazy. Another one that kind of made me laugh was, “Wouldn’t it be easier to find a husband if you DIDN’T have kids?” Yes, yes it probably would.
And the most common question was “Why in the world would you take in other people’s children to care for and put up with all of the junk that you put up with to be a foster parent?” I had a really hard time answering that one. Any answer I came up with sounded either super-religious or self-righteous (maybe both) so I usually just tried to avoid the questions all together. The truth is, at first I had very selfish motives. I wanted to be a mother. Period.
After my first couple of placements, most people began to accept what I was doing – not that I really cared what “most people” thought. By then I felt clearly called by God for this job and I was going to keep doing it no matter how hard it got. Once David came into my life and I began the roller coaster journey to his adoption, everyone thought that I had what I wanted and my foster-parenting days were over. When he was 8 months old and I was asked – actually begged – to take another placement, I originally said no. Two kids, under the age of two? Both in diapers and one barely crawling? As a single mom? That would be absolute insanity!!
After the second phone call requesting that I take this precious little girl, I told the placement coordinator that I would pray about it. God would have to clear a path because there was no way I could do what she was asking on my own. I started praying and making some phone calls and the path began to clear and I began to have peace with the idea of taking a second child. I called her back and told her yes.
A couple of days later I was talking to a co-worker who had adopted his son through foster care as a single dad. I told him people thought I was crazy and that I really didn’t have a good answer when they asked me “Why?” And he wrote these things on my board:
~ Because I can!
~ Because if I don’t, who will?
~ Mostly, because I want to.
I have left that on my board as a reminder for me and anyone else who questions why in the world I would put myself through what I do for these kids. I would add only one more thing to the list:
~ Because God asked me to.
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. ~ James 1:27