By Melanie Wilson
So I was reading an article recently when I thought I could write an article about my life experiences. My life is a little different than most of my friends. It seems to have always been different than my friends. Most of my friends are married now or have been married. They have either had kids and we celebrated or have had difficulties and we have prayed. But my life hasn’t followed a “typical” or “normal” route.
I’m a thirty something single person. No biological kids. No marriage. I focused on getting degrees and had lots of fun during college. I work way too many hours between two jobs. And I added a title this past year that I am most proud and honored to hold. MOM.
Well that is FOSTER MOM.
I’m so excited to share this experience with everyone because it is very interesting. It is fulfilling and frustrating. It is heartwarming and heartbreaking. But most importantly it is all about these sweet babies.
Let me start from the beginning. About 4 years ago I had a friend post on Facebook how she was just certified to be a foster mom. She is single like me and works for a church in Houston. She talked about how excited she was for this new chapter and how any day from that day on she could get a call and have a new bundle of joy in the blink of an eye. I was so excited for my friend and thought I could do that too. I think I mentioned it to my mom and how I thought it could be something I could do.
With every post she made and every picture she posted my heart felt more and more compelled to do something. I kept pushing it to the back of my mind and moving on to the next thing at work. It took me 3 years of thinking about it and praying before I told anyone I was even thinking about it.
Last February I figured after 3 years I might want to listen to what God was telling me I should be doing. I researched online for about a month before I told my mom and dad I was thinking about it, which if you know me is crazy because I talk to my mom 100 times a week. Looking back I probably didn’t tell anyone because I didn’t know how people would react. Saying, “Hey I want to be a foster mom,” isn’t something anyone around me had every said so I didn’t know what people would think or say. During this time I fostered a dog and adopted him (Foster #1).
I finally got the nerve to tell my parents, my best friends, co-workers, and preacher. I thought I had to have all the answers. I thought I did have all the answers but of course I didn’t. Even though I didn’t have all the answers everyone was so supportive and thought it was a great idea. My best friend and one of my co-workers burst into tears when I told them. (That had to be the weirdest reaction and I just stared because that was not the reaction I was expecting.)
Last May I took the classes. The home studies and interviews came in June. And then the waiting started. And I waited and waited. I would email my home development worker every few weeks asking if I was ok and if she needed anything at all from me. And I continued to wait.
In August someone asked if I could help out an international student. So I helped out 2 international students with a place to live because their place fell through over summer when they were home (Foster #2 & #3).
In October I was being super lazy one Friday morning and I got a phone call. The person on the other end of the line explained who she was and congratulated me about becoming certified and in the same breath asked if I was ready for my first placement.
When I say I LEAPED out of bed I am not being dramatic. I am 100% sure my heart skipped a beat and I was overwhelmed with emotions. I then was the one who burst into tears which was unexpected yet again.
I listened as she explained the situation and that there were two brothers. Kiddo A was lower elementary and Kiddo B was 9 months old.
I said yes without even hesitating. I hung up. I immediately thought I had lost it. I went from having no kids to having a baby and a kid.
I think that is a good place to stop. That day in October was a whirlwind and deserves an article all by itself.
It took me 3 years to say yes to the calling God was placing on my heart. Once I started listening things were turned upside down in my life. Within 9 months I took in a dog, 2 college students, and now 2 kids. HELLO NEW LIFE.
I can’t believe I am writing this article. I guess that is how my life goes now a days. I have no clue what will happen day to day but I am looking forward to sharing this crazy life with all of y’all.
I have decided at the end of each article I will share a fact about the foster care system.
DID YOU KNOW: The latest numbers shared by the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) says there were 4,374 children in foster care in April of 2019. 4,374 CHILDREN IN FOSTER CARE. That is more than 3 times the number of students at Natchitoches Central High School and almost 11 times the number of students at St. Mary’s.