Technically we've been licensed since 3/1/10. Of course, we weren't notified that our license was issued until 3/19/10, so this past weekend we celebrated 1 year of being licensed.
Officially we have been foster parents for 364 days. One year ago tomorrow we got our first call from CPU (Central Placement Unit) at 11:45pm. I was sitting on the couch, just having finally got my son to sleep, getting ready to do homework and snuggle up with Saturday Night Live that I had recorded. I had worked on my homework for all of - well long enough to get my computer on but not long enough to update my resume, which was what I had to do for an assignment that night (which happened to be late). Thinking the call was my husband calling me from work even though he knew I just got the little boy to sleep I was slightly irritated to have to answer it.
We have voice caller ID, so it wasn't very long before I knew this was it.
And the journey officially began. Yes, we started the process of getting licensed more than 6 months earlier, but at this point - having foster children in our home - it was real. We had waited all week, wondering how long it would take to get a call for kiddos and had nothing. We weren't sure it was ever going to happen.
Then it did. And our lives changed forever. Some things we learned from those kiddos:
- We love fostering, even if it didn't end up in adoption
- We love ministering to the biological parents - after first meeting bio dad #1 who "chose us" to keep his kids because he "liked us"
- We don't really like waking up early
- 2 year old girls can be really whiny
- We really don't like "really whiny"
- Saying goodbye isn't that bad...for us.
- No matter what you tell your "kids that stay", when the case worker picks up the "kids that go", the "kids that stay" might mistakenly believe that they too are going, even if they are your biological child (!)
- WE LOVE FOSTER PARENTING