4 days and this has already been a roller coaster. The day after saying yes to potentially 3 kids, we got a call about two more. Boy and girl, 1 and 2, pre-adoptive. They currently are not in a home together. Some of the details concerned us, especially being in an apartment with a neighbor who already made a noise complaint against us. We would not be providing stability for any placement if we had to move because we were evicted.
We actually received the call on the way to a Foster Support Group meeting. Everyone there was very helpful and gave us some great questions to ask to better help us make this difficult decision. They gave great encouragement.
"This is your first placement, we need to be careful giving new foster parents something they are uncomfortable with, we need to stop burning out the newbies."
"There are too many kids in our system, we will find the perfect placements for you."
I believe we made the right decision by saying "no". But I was so nervous. I believe in taking care with these decisions, we want to ensure that we stay in this, and do the most good, but I've read a couple blogs that warned against saying no. Losing credibility and receiving fewer calls. I think the first call we got was a blessing, it showed we are willing to say yes. We were flexible, going above our age "limit", saying yes to a possible third child. And if we were so willing to be flexible with the first, and had so many doubts with the second, then surely our guts are working and we need to listen.
After telling our case worker she reassured us we should never be afraid to say no. That was relieving.
After sleeping on it, we also both were so surprised how nervous we were that they were pre-adoptive already. We went into this hoping for pre-adoptive and terrified about the thought of reunification. Throughout this process we have really grown. The training really opened our eyes to the need and beauty of foster care. Is it difficult? Without a doubt. But is there goodness out of pure fostering? Absolutely.
Our job is to provide for and love these kids. We get to help their parents learn how to better take care of their kids. Our privilege is to help this family heal. The gravity and beauty of that responsibility is really setting in.
Then if for whatever reason healing and reunification is no longer the goal, we are blessed with the honor to love them forever.
What a incredibly difficult, frustrating, beautiful, rewarding vocation.