A few weeks ago, we received a letter from the Oklahoma Department of Family Services. It was informing us that there was a child currently in state care, a little girl. We knew little else, other than the child was not related to us and our names were part of a large outer circle of people who were considered family or non-family relations.
After studying, and re-reading the letter several times, we both looked at it and said, “We have to call them and tell her we will take her.”
Where that response came from, I cannot completely understand or explain. I only know that we were all on board, instantly.
This happened on a weekend, followed by a holiday that fell on a Monday, so it was several days until I was able to get through to a social worker. There I found out the rest of the story – that the little girl had been in foster care for over a year, who her mother was (an ex-wife of a family member), and that the little girl was bonded with, safe, and well-loved by her foster family.
The letter, as it turns out, was part of the last of the process to terminate parental rights and allow the child to be adopted by this family who wanted and loved her.
We have good friends who have gone the foster to adopt route – and I have watched the past year unfold for them as they have loved and cared for one very lucky little boy. I imagined what it would be like to lose him, especially after all of this time, and knew that we needed to allow this other foster family to continue with their process of adoption. The child was in a good place and the family intended to adopt. I only had to look as far as our friends to know how that must feel.
Despite knowing that this child, someone I had never met and knew little about, was in a good place, I still felt bereft. As if I had lost something…or perhaps the dream of something…
During that long weekend, when we had allowed ourselves to imagine a little one in the house, I had questioned my husband, who I had never imagined would be interested in becoming a foster parent, why he was so obviously willing. He said, “If we aren’t part of the solution, than we are part of the problem.”
Yeah…well he has a point there…and those words have stuck with me…
Later, a week or so later, we talked again about fostering, specifically fostering to adopt. We are a couple of years out on this, Dave wants to be more financially stable, and I can’t help but agree with that. Whether that will mean starting over with a newborn to preschool-age child, or choosing a child who is around the age that Em is now, I don’t know. Will it be a boy? A girl? I don’t know.
What I do know is that there is room in our hearts for another child. So we will see what tomorrow may bring….