Some days I even wonder why I do this, why I foster. This morning I woke up at 4:30 to Baby Incredible’s wails. It’s so hard when he wakes up at 4:30 because I have to be up at 5:30 to get us out the door on time to go to day care and work. That means I don’t get to go back to sleep if he needs me at 4:30. He woke up grumpy and was crying. I woke up exhausted and overwhelmed. I cried, too. Yes, as he cried, I cried and called out to God that this was too hard. I’m sure it was a sight. I’m glad only God could see it.
As I’ve prayed and talked to friends today, processing through my over active emotions, I have realized something. Fostering isn’t what’s too hard. It’s working full time as a middle school teacher at the same time as fostering that’s too hard. It’s not that I’m unequipped to be a foster mom. It’s not that I’m unequipped to be a teacher. It’s that doing both of those things at the same time is a little bit cuckoo. I know this seems like kind of a “duh” realization, but for me it is a big deal. I have been having a lot of thoughts lately like, “Am I the right person to be a foster mom?” and “Can I handle this?” and “Maybe I made a mistake.” All those thoughts are full of doubt. And as I entertained those doubtful thoughts, I did not think about what it would be like to foster if I weren’t teaching full time. It would be completely different.
Teaching and fostering are two things I feel God created me to do…maybe just not at the same time.
As I have been learning to overcome my social anxiety, one of the strategies I’ve learned is reframing my thinking. This “aha” moment of mine, that I was created by God to be a teacher and a foster mom…just not at the same time, is exactly that: reframing. Just coming to this realization makes me feel more hopeful and at peace.
I know God will bring me through as I continue to teach full time and take care of Baby Incredible. It won’t be easy, but God will provide.
Tonight, I write this as I am lounging in my big, soft, chair in my comfies, with Baby Incredible peacefully sleeping on my chest. He’s been out for almost two hours, yet I’m not ready to put him in bed yet. This is why I do this, for moments like this, moments that are as much a gift to me as they are to him. It is in these moments that I wish I were independently wealthy so that I could quit my job and be with this baby every moment of the day.
As I spend my Friday night with a sleeping baby, I am reading a book that was recommended to me by a friend who is in the process of fost/adopt. It is called Middle Mom. So far I’ve read the introduction and the first chapter, and the author, Christie Erwin, is speaking to my heart. I could have written the first paragraph if the first chapter myself. That’s how relatable she is. I also love what she had to say about “the system”. The government wasn’t called to care for the fatherless. The church, God’s people are. And He gives is the strength and power to do so. (James 1:27) Wow. Just wow.