Awhile back I started to contemplate a series I’ve been wanting to post. I’ve been pondering it for months, and at long last I am daring to sit down and start typing. Before I actually dive into the posts, please, please understand the following:
* I don’t want this to be an us vs. them series. I’m writing to help others understand foster parenting and some of its emotions, not to say that fostering is better, harder, more rewarding, etc. It is simply different. That being said, I do see things from the foster parenting side of things, and our opinions may differ.
* I would love your input. I am not a bio parent. I would love to be, and by God’s grace I hope that one day I may be. If I share something that you disagree with, I’d love to read your polite viewpoint. If I share something that triggers a memory or a bit of advice, I’d love that too.
* Our journeys are all different. Just because I am sharing how fostering has played out in our lives does not mean that every foster parent feels the same way.
* I am not an expert. I’m just sharing our experiences and emotions. There are parents out there that are far more seasoned and experienced than my husband and I are.
So, now that you understand those things, let me begin.
Over the past years, my husband and I have discussed over and over again our feelings of not fitting in. We don’t fit in the singles, newlyweds, or married with kids categories where most of our friends belong. It wasn’t that any of our friends were unkind or anything of that sort. We simply couldn’t relate to them as well as they could relate to the other members of their life group. When we FINALLY had our first long term foster placement, in the back of my mind I must have thought things would be different. At last I was in “the club” of parents. Now I could join them in sharing about the parenting adventures, challenges, and triumphs. We could relate!
Then, one day I was in a room full of mothers. As I listened to them sharing their parenting stories, I realized that although I had my own parenting stories to share, our stories were and would always be different. You see, every parent has moments that define the way they parent, the relationships they build with their kiddos, and even their feelings of parenting success or failure. Thinking about those moments made me start to wonder if my friends and family would like to see things through my eyes. Would understanding help them to relate to me, and me relate to them? Would my view of these parenting moments prevent someone from making one of those insensitive remarks we foster parents often hear? If so, the time and thought I’m putting into the posts will be worthwhile. I’d love for you to join me on this journey of understanding.
Come back soon to read about The First Moments.