Posts Tagged ‘memory’

Andrew and I were asked to speak to a group of new recruits at our agency this weekend .  You know, break in the fresh foster parent meat.  We joined the group at the end of their last MAPP training class to share a little bit of our story, discuss some of the challenges (especially the unexpected ones!) of foster parenting and to give the group some insight into therapeutic foster care which is pretty foreign to most folks.

We talked a lot, we always do, about many things.   But I didn’t really talk about something that has been, particularly at this moment in our journey, very difficult for me – the ‘starting in the middle’-ness of fostering.  I feel as though I have picked up a great novel, perhaps War and Peace, only to begin reading on page 347  of 1498 (or whatever it is).

I have been dumped into the drama  well past the starting point.  In addition to the sense of disorientation that comes from knowing that there is a whole lot that I do not know and may well never know, there is a sense of helplessness that comes from knowing that because I missed the beginning, I am going to be clueless, and make a whole lot of stupid assumptions and corresponding missteps from now until this fine story ends.  Of course,  I understand that all parents make mistakes – that is just a human thing to do.

But it feels different.  The fear of these future errors,  looming somewhere in the distance, coupled with my very complicated feelings about Blitzen’s family of origin, have created a great and genuine sadness in me. To have been there at the beginning, not only to know, to learn, and to understand but also to have witnessed the many early, wonderful moments of Blitzen-ness, what a magnificent gift that would have been.  But alas, I am here on page 399, slowly working my way through, trying to pick up on the context clues and figure it out as I go along.

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I am in red rock country, settling, centering, quieting myself. I visited the same petroglyphs that I wrote about a year ago. And once again, I am awed by the beauty of the art carved deep in the rock, equally awed by the need of human beings to connect and communicate through space and time. To reveal their story and explain (or maybe discover?) their origins.

Lately, Blitzen has been fairly obsessed with hearing the story of the day we met. She will ask Andrew and I to tell the tale, from our own point of view and then, she’ll ask to hear it again.

I try not to get too much inside Blitzen’s head. But this new, oft repeated topic of conversation, really has me wondering what she is thinking and feeling. On some levels, it is pretty transparent, as she struggles to feel like a part of our family, this memory is something big, important, a moment that we all share. And, of course, it is the beginning. Hard to know where you should go next, if you can’t come to terms with where you have been.

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Hi.  This blog chronicles the adventures of Andrew and Carrie as we navigate the world of foster parenting in New York City.

We’ve been inspired to become foster parents by a supportive network of family and friends who will compose the village for Blitzen, our future foster wee.

We’ve been inspired to share our experiences in blog form by being loyal, lurking readers of several foster parent blogs, including No Thank You Bites and (especially) Fosterhood.  It’s generous of folks to turn their lives into learning experiences for others, and it would be cool if our blog was enjoyed by others down the road.  Realistically, though, as a guy in his 40’s with a spotty memory and attention issues, I just want to jot things down so I remember them a month from now.

Carrie and I sometimes lament not keeping journals.  What was the name of that great restaurant in Nova Scotia?  Who was the artist we saw in the Berkshires in 2003?  What was the name of that weird play with Ethan Hawke?  The stakes are pretty low when we forget the film we saw last Friday, but if we’re co-creating a life book for Blitzen we should get some of the details right.

Welcome to FosterWee.  Thanks in advance for reading, commenting, caring.  As Lou Reed says, It’s the beginning of a great adventure.

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