It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start. -Mother Teresa

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

36 hours

There aren't a lot of positives to being foster parents. I should say nice and flowery things about love, time, eternal investment, relationships, ect.

I should but the truth is: foster parenting stinks. I am sure that being a foster child is pretty awful too.

Foster parenting is the closest life experience we have to this orphan hosting thing. Michael and I keep referring back to it because that is what we know.

There are many things that are alike. Di*na will most certainly exhibit some behaviors and come with baggage that that follows all children who are no longer able to live with birth parents.

Radical Attachment Disorder, Food Hoarding, Head Lice....familiar. (and we don't even consider that the bad stuff!)
But emotionally orphan hosting is harder. Probably not for the reasons you think.

Not because of the "A-word" (adoption). That part is similar to fostering. (There is always contingent planning with adoption being "Plan B".)
But rather because of the planning and waiting.

When you foster, you get a call. You say, "Yes" or, "No" right then. The child or children arrive within a few hours.

It has been weeks and weeks of waiting on Di*na. I have had too much time to plan and nothing to plan!

I can't control very much about this situation and that is fine if I only have 2 hours to think. But with several weeks....I must admit that I am stressing a bit.

I am afraid of lots of things:
1.) She will think we are treating her like a baby since we are 'buddying' her up with 8-year old Nan. (She is 14 years old.)
2.) She will not talk and not attempt to communicate other then the bare minimum.
3.) She will need a lot of physical touch. (I am not a touchy person.)
4.) She will hate us and not want to live with us for 5 weeks let alone forever.
5.) She will love us and not want to leave us after 5 weeks let alone forever.
6.) She will throw up every time we get in the car.

The list goes on and on.....

I am not writing this post to look for words of affirmation. Hey, I know you think we are doing a good thing and all that. I appreciate those words. They make me uncomfortable but I appreciate the sentiment behind them.

I am writing as a way to show you that I a human. That this scares me. That even though I know I am doing a 'good thing' and 'what God will is' that it is still hard. I fear that I am setting my family up for heartache.

I am still going to risk being hurt and even risk hurt to my family because....well, because life isn't easy. We have to do the stuff we have to do even if it is hard. It's the hard stuff that makes stronger, healthier, more spiritually-fit people. Sometimes in order to be obedient you have to do hard stuff.  I want that for my family and for me.

36 hours until she arrives. 

Please be praying for Di*na tonight. It is very likely that she has already begun her lengthy travels.

2 comments:

  1. I love this Laura-it's honest and that's refreshing!!!

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  2. A psychiatrist named Charles Zeanah (I think that's right) has written TONS of things on reactive attachment disorder (RAD) and attachment theory in general. He created an intervention that is used in New Orleans (still being tested) for children who are 5 or younger and have been in foster care/in institutions. It might be useful for you to read up on him and his work. I don't know tons about RAD but I do remember some things from school and working with families involved in the foster care system, if you need to talk through things I'm here (and I won't even bill :)). But definitely read some of his articles. -Lissa

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