Andrew and I were asked to participate in a panel discussion hosted by our agency for folks considering becoming foster parents. The audience was a group of people that had almost completed their MAPP training and were working toward becoming certified foster parents. Some will make it, others won’t.
We sat on the panel with a young man who grew up in a care and a woman who is the parent of a child that was briefly in care but now works at our agency as a parent advocate. These were 2 extremely inspiring people. They were funny and smart and had taken what seemed to be a whole frickin lifetime of lemons (they were both very young) and made serious lemonade.
And Andrew and I are just, you know, us. We don’t feel so inspiring most days, we’re just trying to work through this thing. And that is why the agency asked us to participate, I guess. Our former MAPP teacher thought that we would be perfect because even though we have only been foster parents for a short time, we’ve actually had a considerable number of experiences – good and not so good – that represent the roller coaster that foster parenting can be.
We are fortunate enough to now be sharing our lives with a vibrant, creative, bright and beautiful child. She is also a child that has experienced significant trauma and she is really, really pissed off at the world. She has every right to be but it is not always easy living in the vortex of someone else’s anger. And I hope that we were able to communicate that to the group. That and the fact, whatever your worst fear is about being a foster parent, it will probably happen and you will face it (hopefully with grace and humility and look toward learning something new about yourself) and then you will move on. And you will, most likely, still be a foster parent.