1. The flexibility of your schedule
Foster care is nothing but an intrusion into your normal daily life. Obviously it's full of beautiful moments, huge stories of redemption, and incredible transformation, but the nitty gritty reality of foster care requires flexibility and patience.
In just the first 24 hours of being placed with a child, you should have at least two visits from professionals (licensing related and social work related), and a doctor's appointment. I'm assuming that's the mild end of things. Hearings, visitations, and follow up appointments come shortly after that first day.
When we were placed with our little man, it was a Tuesday. Nick and I had prepared our bosses for what was to come but in reality had no clue of what we might be demanding. In the remainder of that short, first week, we had two doctor's visits, a home visit from our licensing agency, and a visit from a child social worker. The second week included parent visits, a hearing for the case, another follow up doctor's appointment, and numerous phone calls from all parts of the foster care system to make sure our little guy was being taken care of. We were juggling board meetings, contract negotiations, and work events while also parenting our biological son.
Flexibility is key.
Do what you can with what you have where you are. - Theodore Roosevelt
Ever since I can remember, I've had a heart for the underdog. According to my mom, I made friends with this little boy in daycare and doted on him day in and day out and was heartbroken when our time together in daycare ended. As a kid, I remember often feeling afraid and insecure around kids who were considered popular until someone else was threatened.
In elementary school at St. Sebastians in Milwaukee I spit on a kid who was teasing a friend of mine so I was put on the wall for a 'time out' of sorts during recess. Later on in middle school in Marion, Ohio I managed to confront a bully face to face and convince our mutual friends to leave the bully at a table by herself to sit with me. These instances were years ago but they feel like they were yesterday. The feeling of needing to do something for someone just seems so timely.
Now that I'm in the midst of these moments and weeks and years of raising little kids, I keep finding my heart reverting back to its roots of just caring a lot about those around me. I don't know if my adolescent years or post-college years were just filled with a lot of selfish career-chasing seasons or maybe my head was stuck in my phone... There's something really familiar and like a reunion with my old self as I find my mind and heart really working out the issues of the day and how I can be a force for good.
I strongly disagree with the Trump administration's zero-tolerance policy at our borders
As a Christian, I can’t keep passing by opportunities to stand up for those around me. As a Mother and a Foster Mom, it’s impossible for me to see a policy so clearly incur pain on innocent children.
And, lastly, as a conservative, I cannot condone the Republican party’s support of the zero-tolerance policy being a message of deterrence for illegal immigration.
I’m not naïve to the complexities of governmental systems. Our elaborate government branches provide checks and balances to and from different agencies. Getting ‘things done’ in Congress isn’t a cake walk. We, as a people, have serious disagreements as to how we should act as a country that draws illegal immigration at the rate that it does. That’s fine. That’s how democracy works—a beautiful alignment of different opinions striving toward compromise.
I get it. Policies and laws are always more complicated than they seem.
Except when they aren’t.