We began this journey, well really before our kids; the inklings of it happening when we first started dating. I tend to be a "bleeding heart," as Marcus likes to phrase it. He tends to not be, not that he doesn't care or isn't an amazing soul. We just balance each other, as we do in so many facets of life. He's my ying, and I'm his yang. That being said, I was the driving force behind this new adventure: foster parenting.
It started with an informational class, before we even considered having kids. For a variety of scheduling conflicts we never were able to make the actual foster parent training classes (Hello, grad school and full time work). As it turned out, for us, it was a whole lot easier to make a baby the old fashion way. And I'm grateful our story started out with Maya and Dane.
During Dane's pregnancy we were both always confident there would be more, but the question soon became how? More bio or repick up the foster process or adopt? After many conversations, debates, questioning, crying in confusion, and maybe wishing to just be done with sleepless nights (because we all know that is for the birds); we finally ended up calling a counselor, who specializes in fostering and adoption. She directed us to an Adoption Academy. A series of classes with a variety of professionals that help people, as confused as ourselves, explore all their options. We landed pretty strongly on foster care. Of course, we tortured ourselves with said decision for a few months until the aforementioned counselor pointed out our obvious decision we finally "both" wanted to take. God bless the Engineer, his big heart for me, and for always jumping onboard for a good adventure.
I mean, honestly, we would probably just be getting married right now if it was up to him...I kid, I kid. I've been told a horse can become anxious alone, so sometimes a goat is added into their pin to help calm them. If this is true, Marcus is my goat. And I, apparently, his prodder.
Here we are. A year later, with hours upon hours of classes, a home study, and divulging all the nooks and crannies of our lives to a social worker. We are nearing the end. The point that they will most likely give us a thumbs up and say you are "licensed foster parents," which will at some point follow up with a little person showing up at our doorstep.
Recently, I set in our guest room/office in defeat as I started to rearrange it for this future child, who may stay 2 days, 2 months, 2 years, or maybe become forever ours. How does one plan for that? I originally planned to just throw a crib into the mix of this multipurpose room. And suddenly it all seemed so unfair and so unplanned. Everything in this child's life seems unfair and unplanned. I realized I needed to make a proper space physically, so I could make space emotionally. Really for all of us. We need to all walk into the "dump all things room" and see that it transformed into something more beautiful, something ready to take on a new life. Just as we will all do with our hearts when this child walks into our world.
There a million reasons and excuses for us to avoid this next step in our journey. It's messy. It's a loss of control. It will likely start and end in some form of heartbreak. We aren't a success story yet. We may flop. It may not work out, but our best advice we received was to say "yes" to learning and then maybe "yes" to a class. You can always say "no" at any point in this journey. And I have found, so far, no one has sugar coated what we are getting into, no one has guilted us into anything, and all have encouraged us to protect ourselves and our bio kids.
For us, this process has led to a "yes" and another "yes." Some day in the near future we will most likely say "yes" to a placement. And maybe we will say "yes" again and maybe not. That's ok.
For now, we hold space.
(Note the dinosaur pillow on the crib. Dane said, "Mommy the baby's bed needs a pillow! I can share from my bed." Cue heart turning to goo.)