So I stopped blogging for quite awhile this year- mainly because we were blessed to have a second foster son added to our family for a time. The hard thing was this child, who was adopted about a year ago by some of our friends, was a child brought into our care by a major disruption in their family. I didn't feel like it was right to write about us with everything going on so...
Long story short, this has been one of the most challenging years in my life, in my marriage, and in our new family. I have also been blessed in so many ways this year- I have been a part of two amazing groups of women who have challenged me, allowed me to be vulnerable, and even listened to me complain about my crazy life. So in the spirit of vulnerability here was our 2012.
2012 started with Justin and I in marriage counseling- we knew that if we were going to parent kids from trauma, there were a LOT of things we needed to work on. I can't speak for Justin, but for me that period of challenge and change was one of the hardest things I have ever done. Through some hard work and some tears, I was able to see how my background and my personality had really turned me into a people pleasing person who had really lost herself in everyone else. I also discovered that when you get healthy and set boundaries, it makes some people mad! (and I am now OK with that!)
So 2 weeks after our last counseling session, we were licensed foster parents. We really questioned if the timing was right, but God told us GO! A few days later we met our current kiddo- A. A quirky and hurting 10 year old boy. (You can read about some of our first adventures with A in previous posts!)
It's hard to think that we have only been parents about 7 months- it's definitely been trial by fire!
We have been to more appointments than I could imagine... we have been told that a child would most likely never live independently as an adult... we have been through (multiple) 4-5 hour meltdowns... we have had runaways... and police and firetrucks at our house
but through all of that, we have seen joy... love... attachment... growth!
Through this foster care journey, we have really changed so much. We have gone from saying "I don't know if we can do this" to "I cannot imagine not parenting these kids". We are now working on our therapeutic foster care license (which is pretty much just a little more training) and we hope to be a healing place for kids on their way to find their forever homes.
Yesterday we got to meet our new foster son who will be moving into our home in a few weeks- T is a 9 year old boy who is currently living in a residential facility. He is such a cool kid who is so full of life! His therapist emailed us after our visit- he wants to live with us, but he doesn't feel like he will ever be good enough to get to live with us. That absolutely breaks my heart that this boy would feel that he needs to "shine himself up" to be deserving of love and a family. It's such a picture of what so many of us (myself included) say to God.
We don't know what 2013 has in store, but we know God is at work within our family- whatever that will look like this year!