By Melanie Wilson
Facebook is great about popping up memories and my memory this week is about getting the first baby. I can’t believe it has been a year since I started the journey of being a foster mom. This article is all about the things I have learned or the crazy things that have happened.
The first thing I have to acknowledge is that this is a calling from God. I could not deal with all of this without knowing God called me and loves me. I have made mistakes but I know God gives me grace and won’t leave me especially in the really hard times.
Second, I have got “too attached” to every child that has entered my home. I hear this all the time about how people couldn’t do this because they would get “too attached” and I’m here to say if you don’t then you probably shouldn’t do this.
Third, my village is amazing. My village has supported, loved, prayed, and cared for the kids and me so much. My village has grown by so many that I can’t count how many people have helped us.
Fourth, I’m never going to sugar coat things so the truth is it is not all rainbows and sunshines. It is life and it is hard. It is probably the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I have thought about quitting, I have cried, and I have had to get a babysitter just so that I could walk away for a few hours and breath. I have had way more sleepless nights then I ever thought was humanly possible to survive.
Finally, the system is BROKEN! Children stay too long in foster care. I believe biological parents should be given a chance but children’s life shouldn’t be placed in limbo for 600+ days. It shouldn’t take 2 years for a child to be adopted. Children shouldn’t be in foster care twice. I shouldn’t also feel that I am the only one fighting for these kids. There is only one side to this and it is the kids.
I can’t believe it has been a year. There have been lots of firsts for sure. I was called mommy for the first time. We had babies for Christmas and holidays took on an entire new meaning. I learned how to install carseats and how to hold down screaming kicking baby and bulk them up.
Things I have not been able to get over is the nasty diapers! Does throwing up from them ever stop? Also waking up ready to play at 5am, I don’t know if I will get over that either. Why do they wake up so early? Sleep till 8 and I’ll buy you a pony.
I don’t have all the answers to fix the system. I don’t know all of the parenting secrets or if I really honestly know what I am doing. The only thing I know is that I love these babies, I want what is best for them, and even during the hard times it is the best decision I ever made.
DID YOU KNOW? Unfortunately depending on the area and the resources available has an effect on if babies are taken from the hospital or the parent is given a chance. There are some parishes that no child leaves the hospital if the mother has a positive drug test and some that is not the case. Why do we not have enough resources to take care of every child. I started this article saying I couldn’t do this without God and I pray that people who are hearing the calling or if you don’t believe but have ever thought about foster care goes for it! These kids need our help!