I am afraid to say that I am at the lowest point of my life. I'm afraid to say it because I am deathly fearful of it getting any worse, and with the way things have been going, that is a strong likelihood. I thought I was "broken and defeated" back in June, and now I would give anything to be back there.
This evening we went to an informational meeting for Foster Care. I wanted to learn more about it, even though we would not be able to pursue this avenue until September at the earliest (I would want to stay home with the children, and my school program will require me to work 4 full days per week in my last semester. Right now I'm doing 3 full days.) In retrospect, it was probably the dumbest thing I could have done right now... we are dealing with a LOT, and right now we would risk blowing our future chances even with fostering. But something inside me was driving me to go, to start the process. With everything happening, I desperately need SOMETHING good to work towards. It doesn't even have to be something that materializes into good right now, but I need to know that it WILL END IN GOOD, and put my effort and my hope in that project. The fertility stuff? Well we all know that is going nowhere fast. The adoption? Done. Nada. Not gonna happen. We were hoping to start negotiating for a house (long story, but there is a house that my FIL has $$ in with a friend, but the friend ran out of $$ and now it has just been sitting there for years, just a frame and a roof) - but the friend is being stubborn about how much she wants for it, and also about paying FIL back the $$ he's owed). So, the house likely is not going to happen anytime soon, either.
So we are stuck in this apartment, attached to my in-laws' house, and circumstantially, (this is really the least of our problems, but just one more blow), we won't be able to be approved to foster while in this apartment because my in-laws' pool is not fenced in. Rather, they have a fence that surrounds the entire backyard... but our back doors open right into the patio and the pool is merely 10 steps away.
Another issue that arose in my mind while at the meeting was how to handle religion with a foster child. If we do a foster-to-adopt program, the woman was saying that unfortunately they are experiencing a lot of problems with the legal finalization process (time-wise), and that it is taking up to 2 years to even get court dates set for adoptions through the system. In the meantime, that means the parental rights are NOT terminated... and that means taking the children to church whom we very well may be adopting in the future may be out of the question... baptizing certainly would be, as would CCD classes. So, for argument's sake, let's say we get a 1st grader for placement, he is likely going to be eligible for adoption, we raise him for a year or so and then he is made eligible for adoption. In the meantime, we were not allowed to enroll him in his first reconciliation classes, nor First Communion, and by the time the adoption is finalized/legalized, he may be in 4th/5th grade. Not only would he be way behind his peers at that point, but we would have "our child" in our home and not even be able to raise him in the faith that we hold so close to our hearts and souls. This just bothers me. A lot.
But that's not the only thing that bothers me about foster care. The biggest issue I am having right now is an internal one. An issue of motives. I am truly struggling right now with why I am exploring this avenue of foster care to begin with. In many ways, I feel like I am only doing this because my womb has been shut and the adoption door was slammed and locked. Am I just trying to "cheat" God? Is this my way of saying to Him, "Oh yeah? I'll get a child come hell or highwater, just You wait and see!" Or am I being lead to this?
With adoption, it was much, much different. Infertility was NOT what lead me to begin the adoption process. I felt the call to adopt from an early age, more poignantly in my early 20's. If I could have, I would have started right away when we got married, but agencies required us to be married for at least two years. Point being: adoption was a CLEAR calling. And I resented when I saw many other couples, specifically on television, pursue adoption as a "Plan B" to parenthood, when they did not have the true heart or a calling for it. (Note: I do not mean any of you bloggers when I say this. I'm thinking more of the couples who view children as a "right," and none of you fit that description. Furthermore, having read all of your blogs, I have seen just what adoption has meant to each and every one of you who are pursuing that road/ or have become adoptive parents.)
The thought continually crosses my mind, Am I now becoming one of THOSE people? The people who just follow a course of action to get what they ultimately want in the end, but not because they truly feel that is what they were CALLED to do? Foster Care is a calling, as well, and I have had the amazing privilege of watching others, such as Sew Infertile, receive and pursue that calling. Am I cheating her, and others like her, by going through the motions of this when I'm not sure if it's a calling or not?
Or is this God's way of calling me to Foster Care? Is it that He knew all along the only way I would even explore this possibility would be if every single other path was closed to me? Was it because God knew how motivated I was to meet MY goals, that He had to bring me to the absolute lowest point in order for me to see the beauty of Foster Care? And additionally, is this His way of making me think about myself LAST, and putting these broken children FIRST? Because, to me anyway, that is what Foster Care is all about- not finding the perfect child FOR ME. But helping to heal these children and their families, being a beacon of light for THEM through THEIR struggle, even if only briefly.
One thing that I took from tonight's meeting was clear, however. I cannot emotionally take on Foster Care at this time. When the presenter spoke about what the Home Study process was all about, she concluded with the statement, "We want to make sure that you both are going to provide the child with a STABLE home environment, because we are taking these children from very traumatic homes and the last thing we want to do is place them from 1 traumatic home into another." Right now, we are far from stable. We are broken in millions of pieces. We need healing in so, so many ways.
But I will continue to pray about this. Maybe in the future when we are stronger, we will be able to do this. I do think it is an absolutely beautiful thing, and one that I never in a million years thought I would have the strength to do. But I'm sure if this is what God intended for us, He will help us to make it happen. And if not? Then this door, too, shall shut.
A very scary thought came to me this evening as we were driving to the meeting. I had a strong feeling that the devil has been working against us, and anyone who knows just what has been happening (which is only about 5 people) would agree. If the devil truly is working against us, how am I to win? I feel absolutely powerless against the devil. Yes, I have God in my life, but I am not God. I feel like this is a battle I can never win...
Like I said, I have a lot of praying to do about this, and a lot of thinking. I really don't know which way to turn anymore, and my worst fear is that it can still get worse (though it is unfathomable at this point). I am in a very deep depression, one that my home is reflecting. If you walked into my home, you'd think you walked into a crackhouse. I kid you not. It is disgusting. But that's a post for another day. Better yet, I'll just ignore that altogether, just as I've been doing.
I need help.