Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mixed Responses about Foster Care and Adoption (part 1 I'm sure)

I believe that adding to our family through foster care and adoption will be very powerful, and quite possibly, complicated. I am aware that my opinions are without full experience yet we began researching this option many years ago and I believe that it was something we, as a couple, were called to do.

I find people responding to this in a variety of ways. First, there is the “Are you crazy?!” My response is simply, “A little bit.” I really am a little afraid of what four small children will mean for my sanity which is already wavering at times. However, I believe that we will never regret doing it, but we may regret if we do not. I also say that we’d like to do it while we are too stupid to know otherwise. We are already knee-deep in small children, so what’s one more? (Don’t worry. I’m really not that na├»ve. This is just me reassuring myself.)

Second, there are the very complimentary responses such as “That is so wonderful. It really takes special people to do that.” When I hear this, I am always very thankful yet I feel a little awkward because I am not extraordinary and I am not doing it all for nothing. As a parent, I am well aware that children drain resources- mental, physical, and financial. However, our children fill our lives with experiences and emotions that can never be measured. I want to add to our family in this way to help a child in need, of course. This is what called us to do it. However, I also want to experience all of the rewards that come with loving another child as our own.

Then there is the, “I could never do that.” My response to this is, “That’s OK. It is not for everyone to do.” Believe me, I too have fears on how well I will raise a child who may or may not look like us, may or may not have special needs, and may or may not get to stay with us forever. I remember when we were trying to decide if we were going to pursue foster parenting, when our (at the time) 5year old daughter, Caroline asked, “What does fostering mean?” Wow, how do you answer that? I, again, did not have much time to think and said, “Fostering means that we will love and care for a child for as long as he/she needs us to.” It was like an "Ah-ha moment." Why couldn’t I explain it that simply to myself?

Believe me, I do not mean to over-simplify this complicated and very personal issue; I merely have to make it understandable for me and our family. At some point, I heard Joel Osteen say, “God will not put a dream in your heart that he is not prepared to back up.” I believe this to be true and I trust God. I do hope,however, that God does not trust me very much. :)


Tricia said...

I think I've said all three to you! I love the Osteen quote. Something to remember.

Dana said...

You and Howie have all of the adaptable tools and I know you'll parent any child well.

I have heard all of the above myself...along with some other, more, shall we say...colorful comments. At least you won't get the, "Why not take care of a kid from your own country?" One time I heard, "Takes a special kind of stupid to adopt. Nothing but problems." Possibly my favorite example of ignorance. How does one respond to that? Krista?

Thicken and toughen that skin and hold're in for a ride! Awesome ride though. I'm with you on, "I believe that we will never regret doing it, but we may regret if we do not." We have never looked back. Well, maybe looked back to a time before kids, but not before Brooke in particular. ;-)

Congrats! Can't wait to meet #4.

Krista said...

I didn't focus on the trying negative responses this time. There has also been "Why, can't you just have your own." There has also been some suggestion that I have doing our biological children a disservice in some way. I believe that character is sometimes built through turmoil and challenge. This will stretch us all and I know we'll have a lot to learn. Thanks for the votes of confidence! -Krista

Tricia said...

I just plan to live through the turmoil and challenge through you. Hope that suffices. :)

joseph said...

You are so cute. Can't wait to hear all about your newest little blessing, when he or she arrives. Excited for you, and praying for you too! :)
Allison D