It's from the kids I turned down this week. Even typing that sentence makes my heart twist.
During orientation and foster parent classes it was reiterated to us to know our limits. Don't take a placement you know you can't handle or you are not set up for out of guilt.
Now I know why. Because in the moment your heart aches, you may cry for the child - and you still have to say no. It's AWFUL.
I decided that I would take either gender of child, ages 3 and under. This week I have been called about a 6 year old boy, an almost 5 year old girl, and a 4 year old boy.
There were multiple reasons I couldn't take these kids. A big one is the age - since Christmas is just a few weeks away, I didn't want to take in a child and then leave them for 9 days and/or take them on a plane ride away to Indiana, completely disrupting their lives (not to mention a serious blow to my savings - last minute plane tickets, anyone?). I'm not set up for older kids. I have baby and toddler toys, clothes, etc... One of the children was ready to be adopted. I knew that I wasn't right for that. I'm not ready to immediately adopt. I'm not going into this to adopt every child. If God opens that door and it is what is best for that child, then I will do it - but it is not my goal. My goal is to offer a safe and loving home to children and be Jesus to them and their families. Another child acts out sexually. I am not ready for that. Realistically, I'm 29, single, and chaste. I have no training in this realm. I know enough to know that this is out of my league (right now - I do want to be better equipped to help children who have been sexually abused someday).
So I feel like a dud foster parent. A small part of me fears they will stop calling me if I keep saying no. The rational part of me reminds me that I did tell them 3 and under...that they know I will be here constantly from January on...that I even told them my preference to take any challenges except sexual abuse to begin with. My heart aches for these little ones. I pray that they found amazing homes for them.
I will continue to wait and jump 10 feet out of my skin every time my phone rings. And relying on the beautiful prayers and encouragement of my family and friends. And gaining some strength by re-watching this video:
I realize that this post and my last may make it seem as though I'm positively miserable. While I may be jumpy when the phone rings, all in all I'm having a lovely Christmas season and enjoying time with friends. Christmas shopping is done, goodies have been baked, and parties forthcoming. Life is good, Jesus is amazing.