Trial by Fire Parenting
Thursday, August 19, 2010
So for as long as I can remember, and as long as my family can remember, I have never wanted to be a parent. I have always wanted to be that "cool" aunt that my nieces and nephews would come and stay with over summer vacation- the one who has traveled the world and seen a lot of places. The one who always has really fun stuff to do. The one who has lots of dogs- but no kids of her own. My husband on the other hand has always wanted children. He is great with kids- even teaches 2nd grade! He always thought my feelings about kids were just a "phase" that I would eventually grow out of.
Enter a compromise- foster parenting. Now I realize everyone has horror stories about foster care- VERY few people will ever tell you the positive about it- that just isn't how our sensationalistic society works. But I thought we would try it- even though we heard all the stories. These kids just need a chance to be kids and be loved and protected until they can either go home or find a new permanent home. After almost 8 months of training and paperwork and WAITING......... We were finally approved and received our first placement. Now I can't go into specifics about her- but she is a great kid. She is 8- almost 9- and is very well behaved. She misses her family and wants to go home- but other than that she is great. We have a good time with her and try to keep her mind off the fact that she isn't with her own family right now.
Then last night I get a call about another 8 year old- just turned 8 on Monday- who needs a very short term placement. This one has some more issues and because of that I spoke to her former foster mom about her and what I needed to know. Long story short- I was up all night with her- she doesn't sleep well at all- she woke up about every 15-20 minutes. I realize this isn't quite an infant- I didn't have to feed her in the middle of the night- nor change diapers- but the lack of sleep thing- even for one night- was torturous. I don't know how moms (and dads) do it.
So- I just want to let all the parents out there know that I have an ever greater respect for what you do now. I did before but didn't completely realize what I was "missing" and now I sort of understand. I have a broken heart for this child but am glad that for one night at least we were able to keep her safe and help her out.