In my wonderful, wonderful moms group at my church, one woman talked about how when God is calling us, or possibly calling us, to something, we should write out all of our fears and pray over them. We will find that God makes a way in all of them, even though it's rare that the concern is removed entirely. He does work in us, or He does work in the circumstance. We prayed about Dinosaur and Rhinoceros and how foster care would affect them. I wasn't always good at naming that fear in a prayerful way, but I know I did at least a few times. So far, God has provided above and beyond what I could have imagined, not only comforting them during times of loss, but putting hearts in them to love these babies, even learning a love for giving and caring for others.
So, here's a big old list of my fears right now with foster care. Days like this I wish my blog was known among my friends and family, because it would let all those people that call me a hero know that I am scared to death pretty much all the time. What was scarier than bringing my oldest biological son home from the hospital knowing that we were solely responsible for his care was? Bringing home someone else's newborn from the hospital.
I fear a long-term placement that turns adoptive, bringing us to face the dilemma of choosing to put a child through one more loss or choosing to limit our fostering capabilities to help more kids.
I fear a long-term placement that breaks Dinosaur's and Rhinoceros's hearts with the goodbye. And our hearts, but I know theirs are so much more tender and young.
I fear of a series of short-term placements that slowly drain us to the point of not being able to handle the frantic life of fostering.
I fear caring for a newborn that's as fussy or fussier than Beetle.
I fear trouble in our very secure, happy marriage directly resulting from a difficult placement. (Funny enough, I typed sexure instead of secure. Apparently I feel our marriage is secure and sexy. Ha!)
I fear getting laid off and having to find another job that fits fostering so well.
I fear cheering on birth parents to reunification only for something horribly tragic to happen after the child returns to a parent. This article about kids who should have been removed or remained removed is one of the most horrifying things I've ever read.
I fear never making a positive impact with birth parents, because I'm too shy, too aloof, too awkward, too privileged.
I fear that keeping with our age and capacity limits will result in a child being placed in one of those bad foster homes, just because we couldn't stretch ourselves a little further.
I fear having toddlers placed with us who have behaviors that I can't handle well, or trauma and loss that I don't know how to comfort.
I fear isolating myself from friends and family who aren't foster parents, or becoming proud because I've weathered more than they have.
I fear foster care. Thank You, God, that You are bigger than foster care.
I wanted to add that I'm taking the next week completely off of foster care reading and blogging before we go on the call list again next Monday. I was planning to do this just because it seemed like a good idea, but I know it won't be easy, as I get lonely in my foster care feelings and seek out connection on the internet, and thankfully I've found a LOT of foster care connections. However, I think it will be a good kind of fasting, and if I get lonely, I will just come to this post and pray over one or all of my fears.