Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thankful Thursday - #12 is here!

Our FAD worker came over to visit last night.  This particular individual in the system works to make sure our home is in compliance and that we have everything we need.  This is similar to a caseworker at a private agency except that it's not a private agency - it's still the state and tied directly to DFPS.  This particular individual is nice and our visits our always pleasant.

Just so you know how this goes, he sat at our island most of the time.  Our kids bugged him (he's nice about it) by incessantly showing them the same toys.  I sat and cut up chicken and prepared dinner.  My husband went between our kids and the island as needed.  We answered questions.  We kept moving with our normal life.  This time he surprised us with an impromptu inspection, something he usually doesn't do.  He checked our weapons, our medications, and our chemicals to make sure they were taken care of and stored appropriately.  He was here about an hour.

As he walked out the door, literally, the phone rang.  Since my hubby and I were together I had a pretty good idea about what was coming next.  My hubby answered (darn him!  how did he get to answer both CPU calls this time?) but he quickly handed the phone to mie.

It's a baby girl.  Not a newborn, but still a baby.

She is a hoot!  She cracked us up.  My sister's foster baby is the same age and they came by to see our newest addition.  The two of them played and loved on each other and laughed.  It was fun.

We'll see what adding two new kiddos to our family does to our schedule and life.  For now it's the exciting honeymoon phase.  Love it.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Working Mama Wednesday - Why I'm Grateful I Worked Through College

If I haven't already said, I worked full-time while in college.  After getting about 5 hours of sleep last night I found myself thinking about it on the drive to work this morning.  I graduated with my Bachelor's degree 3 years after I graduated from high school - at least a year earlier than most of my classmates.  Since I was usually a year younger than most people in my grade that means I ended up graduating from college when I was 20.  It was a lot of work.

I am SO grateful that's the way it went down.  There are obvious reasons:

  • I graduated & entered the job market when I was 20.
  • I paid for 1 less year of college.
  • When I did graduate I had enough practical work experience to land me a job that led to my current career AND paid really well for a new-college-grad starting salary (and, frankly, for most anyone's salary).  I mean - I was able to buy a house when I was 20 with my own money.
These are great reasons to have worked, full-time, through college but honestly they are not what I'm most grateful for now.  You see, working full-time through college taught mie SO much about life.  Looking back I suppose I didn't have to work full-time.  I went to a private university and my parents paid my tuition for the first 2 1/2 years (I paid the final semester).  They paid for mie to live in the dorms the first year and I lived at home the other two years.  I suppose I could have worked part time and made enough to get by.  I bought a new car in the beginning of my 2nd year of school and I suppose I could have not done that.  I could have taken out loans and lived on campus without a car.  I could have sold my car and bought another one that was more reliable but still used rather than buying a new one and lived at home.  I had enough of a safety net to fall back on at home and allow mie to take it a bit easier.  There was nothing requiring mie to do it all in 3 years.  

Except there was.  My parents instilled in mie a sense of personal responsibility.  Though I didn't have to and my parents didn't necessarily encourage it, I started working at 15 to help pay for my own things (including my first car and car insurance + a bit of spending money).  I wanted to help pay my own way - I didn't want to freeload on my parents forever.  (Not that living with your parents at 15 is freeloading). 

So when I turned 18 and had the chance to begin working full-time I took the chance.  I moved back in with my parents so I'd be closer to work a block away vs. 20 minutes from school.  I arranged my schedule so I had all of my classes on Tues & Thursday meaning I had to make the drive to school on those days and I worked during the day on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday and then either on Sunday or Thursday nights.  This allowed mie to go to church on Sunday mornings and maybe Sunday or Thursday night college group events (where my husband and I really started dating) but the rest of the time I was working, in class, or doing homework.  Literally, that's all I did.  

But in that I learned extremely valuable life lessons that come in really helpful today in the real world as a mom or a wife:
  • Pay now/play later or play now/pay later - it's your choice.  You will have to pay one way or the other.  While friends, classmates, and coworkers were out partying or doing whatever they did, I was working either on school or at work.  But now I see where there lives are - many are struggling to get by, still wondering when they're going to catch their big breaks.  Many are struggling to pay basic bills in low-paying jobs because they don't have the skills (or discipline) to do much more.  Obviously this is not everyone's story and many of them have had things face them that were out of control but the point is that you will either pay now with lots of work or later with lots of work.  This life was not meant to be easy.
  • I can do a lot more than most people think they can (but only for a time).  The ONLY reason I graduated in 3 years was because I felt I needed to with working full-time.  I didn't want to keep up that pace for a 4th year.  I came into college with a semester's credits behind mie due to AP classes/tests so after my 2nd year I realized I could take a heavy load including the summers and was able to finish a year early.  It took mega planning.  It took a lot of work.  I remember sitting for a week's vacation with my husband (then boyfriend) and his family doing nothing but writing papers.  Occasionally I took a break to take a sunset walk on the beach or eat a meal but for the most part I was taking care of a college class - actually 2 6 week summer classes in the course of a week.  
  • It's no one else's job to take care of my family.  Yes, there may come a time (and has) where we've needed brief support - like family or friends baby sitting my kiddos while I work hard on a paper.  Though we all need help from time to time I realize it is not everyone else's responsibility to pay my way or do my work.  It is my husband and my responsibility to provide for our family.  It is our responsibility to clean the house and do laundry.  To pay bills.  To teach our kids.  To cook dinner.  etc., etc.  So, when I do need to ask someone to help I do so humbly and respectfully, knowing they are providing a huge benefit to our family in helping not because it is their obligation but because they are gracious people who deserve my respect and appreciation.
So yes, I worked really hard in my late teens and early 20s and it has paid off financially.  I'm grateful for that but it's the practical lessons I learned from those experiences that really has given mie a leg-up on life.  

As I now sit facing 30-45 more days before I defend my dissertation, knowing it is not yet finished and therefore I need to work really hard daily on it, even though I have a more than full-time job and 3 kids, a husband, and a home to care for, I'm benefiting greatly from these lessons:

a) Pay now - Every day I have to make the conscious decision to work, work, work.  30-45 more days and I can play and celebrate and will truly be done with school, finally (with the exception of formalities).  This means I have to forgo watching my favorite shows that distract mie.  I can't sit at night after the kids go to bed and do my crafts or work on house projects that I want to complete or take a nice bubble bath.  If I work really hard now I can get this piece behind mie and I know the reward of being done instead of having this hang over my head will be worth it.
b) Do a lot more (but only for a time).  Until I'm finished writing & editing my dissertation I will likely be up until midnight or 1 every night getting it done, that's after a 10-12 hour work day and 3-6 hours total with the kids each day, and 1-2 hours of housework.  I'll be getting 4-5 hours of sleep a night.  I won't be able to get everything done and the upstairs playroom might not get cleaned for a while.  I know that I can do this.  I keep telling myself (literally) that I can do anything for 30 days.  I know I can.  And to that end its because I know the reward of being done will be worth it.
c) It's no one else's job.  Though I can leave some things undone for a while (like finishing painting the guest room or cleaning the carpets in my bedroom), I can't just let things go completely.  In the end my relationship and health of my kids and with my husband are much more important than finishing my degree - I have to spend at least some intentional time daily nurturing them.  I can't just not do laundry.  I can't not clean the kitchen.  It needs to be done.  However, it doesn't need to be done as meticulously as I would if I had nothing else to do.  And, it doesn't HAVE to be done by mie.  I can reach out humbly and ask for help.  I can ask my husband to pitch in to help in areas where I usually do something but could use his help.  Not only does it get things done that I couldn't do myself, it gives mie a chance to communicate my needs to others and build that part of our relationship better.  It also gives mie a chance to show sincere appreciation to those in my life who are willing to step in and help. It's made mie pay conscious attention to the things that need done, can be put off, and can be done by others.  It's made mie pay conscious attention to how I treat those I love in my life and how I'm showing them gratitude.

Basically, I'm more efficient with life.  I'm less-selfish.  I'm getting more important things done and forgetting about things that are more frivolous (like So You Think You Can Dance and cleaning the toilets - hehe - really my toilets are clean).  I'm learning I can make mistakes and ask for forgiveness when I do.  I'm actively prioritizing things and people in my life in the right order (see the previous mistakes sentence).  

If you're a parent of young kids like mie and wonder what will happen when your kids go to school and how you'll pay for it all and wanting to help them not work - just remember that working isn't all that bad necessarily.  Balancing some level of work with other things in life teaches our children responsibility that will truly benefit them as adults.  Though I won't be forcing my children to work full-time through school if they don't have to, I will be trying to make sure they are contributing to their financial situation if for no other reason than to learn self-responsibility and accountability for their actions, priorities, and behaviors. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tuesday's Tears - THIS is why I do foster care

(I wrote this post a while back...)

Foster care and adoption is not always easy.  It's easier than a lot of people think it is - usually the people who say "I couldn't do that".  It's harder than most of us who agree to get involved usually imagine in the beginning (we learn our lesson quickly).  We're at the mercy of the system.  Our kids vacillate from loving to hating us all in a span of minutes (because we're not the birth parents).  We handle strange behaviors and we go to great lengths to try and help kiddos heal knowing full well at any minute they'll be thrust back into the madness that was their birth family's situation that led to the removal in the first place (hopefully, but not guaranteed, in a more healthy environment).  Our core families are considered last (not by us, by the system).

It can be messy and yucky.

But not like this:

These are pictures of the bed of a child who was removed.  I don't know the whole story for this particular child but do know that the bed wasn't the reason for removal and it was probably like this for a period of time prior to removal.

Yes, those are feces.  I don't now where they came from (human or animal).

This bed is located in a closet.  (Again, not the primary reason for removal).

So you see - though we are inconvenienced or have extra work or put to the test by the system that can be frustrating and completely inconsiderate of OUR lives at times, we do it because if we can help one kiddo not have to sleep with feces (and whatever else they face), THAT is worth it.  If I can give "my" kiddos blankets and clean sheets and a decent pillow and a scream-free/drug-free environment, isn't that worth it?

If you haven't already, consider what you can do to help.  This is one child's bed - each child in foster care has a story and YOU have the opportunity to help make their story have a brighter tune and maybe a happy ending.

Monday, August 13, 2012

(Still) Atypical. Dysplastic.

I finally received a call from the doctor on Friday morning. (Well, to be precise, it was the assistant that was in the room with the doctor and I during the exam.)

She reiterated they were all atypical and dysplastic.  This was weird because I didn't know we were looking at that - I figured that was already known and that is why they were removed from mie in the first place.  I guess the lab just confirmed the doctor's suspicions that, indeed, they were atypical and dysplastic.  Lovely.

The great news is that there were no signs of melanoma.

The bad news was that sentence was followed by "yet".

I will celebrate what is good.

At this point I just have to watch the spots for signs of color, meaning they are coming back.  I'm thinking it's a bad sign that on the one I can see (my stomach vs. 3 on my back) I can already see the color from the root of the mole.  The doctor said to give it 2 months and we'll re-evaluate, unless something drastic happens and I see obvious changes more quickly.

This brings up and interesting point.  These things itch.  Boy do they itch.  They didn't prior to the removal but now that they are (still) bandaged and healing (after 10 days) they are itching more than ever.  I am supposed to keep them bandaged with a clean bandage and ointment every day until the new skin is in which should have been 7-10 days.  I think we're getting close.

Which brings up another interesting point - the itching is not from the bandage.  Apparently I am allergic to the adhesive on bandages.  When I posted that on facebook my family and some friends suggested it may be a latex allergy.  I've never noticed a problem with latex but have always had this redness and itching from bandages.  I suppose I figured that was just part of the package - healing wounds, ripped off bandages, redness and itching - seemed appropriate to mie.

Apparently its not normal and is an allergy.

Just a few fun facts for you today.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Foster Parent Friday - Why Birth Order isn't THAT relevant

I had a bit of an epiphany recently. 

Before I get into it (as if you couldn't tell from my title) I want to point out that I don't think this is an epiphany I could have understood without being an experienced foster/adopt mom. 

When we went through the incessant questionnaire also known as the home study process, we said we needed to keep our son the oldest.  I think that's fairly common philosophy out there for a few reasons.  First, there's a strong natural belief in the effect of birth order and, as a result, the impact changing birth order in a family can have on individual members and the family unit.  Second, there's typically a strong bond between parents who wish to foster/adopt and any forever children they already have.  This was our situation.  Our son was the firstborn.  He was used to everything as an only child/firstborn.  We wanted to preserve that role for him in our family.  So though we agreed to get licensed for children 0-6 years old and our son was only 3 at the time, we said we were only interested in accepting kids 0-3.  We wanted Logan to remain the oldest.

As time went on we had 11 (now) kids.  All have been younger than Logan, preserving birth order in our family.  We had an opportunity once to take a 7 year old but since our license only allowed up to 6, we couldn't accept that placement.  So we had a lot of kids younger than Logan by at least 1 year.
While that is all well and good I realized that we were not considering something that I think most people considering birth order overlook.

Though are son has always been in birth order, all but one of our 11 children have been out of birth order in our family.  You see, with the exception of #5/#6 who had an older brother who had not been removed (because the family took him out-of-state), all of our kiddos were 1st and/or 2nd born.  When they came to our family and Logan was the oldest, they ended up being 2nd and/or 3rd born. 

I'm not sure what the impact was on the younger of sibling groups if any.  I actually think in a way this was beneficial to them because it reduced some of the sibling rivalry and fight for attention with their birth sibling that had previously existed in their home of origin because of their sibling's first born status.

The impact on our 1st born placements has been clear, especially with the older ones.  They have clearly been used to being the oldest, the favorite, the bigger kid, the one who gives the orders in th ehome.  Some of this was a result of poor parenting for sure but much of it had to do with their experience as 1st born.  Then they are removed from their home, thrust into the lives of strangers, and now they don't know how to interact with an older sibling in the family.  It is a foreign concept too them that they aren't really sure how to handle.

This is the case in the majority of cases I've seen.  In the ones where siblings are separated for some reason though the birth order may have been maintained the sibling group was broken up causing at least equal concern and trauma. 

I'm left with the question - which birth order is more important to keep?  I could squint and see the argument whereas since foster placements come and go maintaining the birth order for your forever children is more important - it helps keep stability in the lives of your forever children.  Honestly though I'm left strongly believing that I can't ethically choose birth order for one child over the others....if its important for one child isn't it equally important for another? 

Since it's impossible to keep birth order for all kids without separating a sibling group I've decided that birth order can't really matter in the decision process to accept new placements.  Do they need a home?  Can we help them heal?  Can we keep all of our family members safe?  Does God want us to accept the placement?  I think these questions are much more important.

With that in mind we've inquired about a sibling group with an older child.  This is the first time we've ever done it and though we're not believing strongly that these are "our" children to adopt, we are open to looking into it more and are trying to be open about what we could and should do in our home independent of preserving birth order. 

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Wouldn't you know....

I never heard from the doctor today.  I tried to call again but got the voicemail again.  Argh.

When I wrote the last post detailing when we got the call for each past placement I noticed a pattern.  If not a pattern at least a most-frequent day.  Did you notice it?  Let me add...

#7 - Thursday.  6:25pm.  Arrived at 8:15pm.  8/9/12

As I opened the door to get out of the car I was met by my husband, phone in hand.  It was my favorite placement worker with "a call".  We now have a new 3 year old boy to add to our crew.  Fun times!

So far so good....

Waiting - Placement Calls and other...

When I had 4 moles dug out of my back and stomach last week the doctor and his assistant reiterated about a million times:

We will have the results Tuesday or Wednesday.  We always matter what we always call.  We'll call until we talk to you.  We're kind of annoying.

It is now Thursday, I haven't heard a word.  I called yesterday afternoon but got their voicemail.  Since I was headed to another round of endless meetings I figured it wouldn't help to leave a VM - they'd call when they'd call.


We went on the placement list 2 weeks ago tomorrow.  No calls yet.

So I sit waiting except I don't really "sit" ever, especially waiting.  I am kept pretty busy with the things of life and when I do find a moment to not be preoccupied I find something to preoccupy mie, like mopping, endlessly checking Facebook, or staring at the phone as if to will it to ring.

I'm having a hard time being patient, not for worry's sake but more to get on with things whatever they may be.  I'm trying to learn to enjoy the moment. (and finish my dissertation).

(To make matters more comical and/or interesting, I downloaded an app for my son that plays "cop noises" -  sirens and the sound of code being sent over the radio and such.  Somehow the sound of the officer talking over the radio was exchanged for all of my otherwise unassigned ringtones so I sit waiting for the quite startling sound of a police officer suddenly speaking over the radio.  Lovely. I could change it, but apparently that hasn't been one of the priority things to preoccupy myself with because its been that way for a few weeks and I've done nothing.  To put it in perspective, the only other sound coming from my phone as a ringtone is my son saying "Mommy can you please pick up the phone it's daddy", which was my husband's attempt to get mie to answer the phone more often when he was calling.  He figures I can't ignore my son's voice.  He's right.)

Waiting for a placement has got mie thinking - when have I received calls in the past?  Is there a more popular day or time?  I've already done a post on how long it takes to get a new placement but this is a different spin on the same topic - waiting and the torture it brings.  So, here's the analysis (by placement)

#1 - Saturday night at 11:45 pm.  They arrived at about 1:30am.
#2 - Tuesday night at 6:00pm.  He arrived at about 7:45 pm.
#3 - Thursday morning at 9:59 am (precisely).  I had a phone interview scheduled and I thought the ring was the interviewer except it wasn't - 2 minutes later the interviewer called and I had to postpone the interview.  She arrived around 1pm I believe.
#4 - Thursday night at around 6:30pm - I was in class.  This is the first and only placement where my husband answered the initial call.  They arrived around 9:45pm - they were from far away.
#5 - Friday at around 3:30pm - the same day #4 went home.  They arrived the following Wednesday during the day, I believe.
#6 - I honestly cannot remember when the placement worker called me for these two.  I believe it was Thursday but might have been a Wednesday.  It was during the day because I remember talking the caseworker while I was at work.  So weird.  I do know they came the following Wednesday at around 4pm.
#7 - ???

I've told my husband that I can't picture getting another call.  I know it's strange but I just can't imagine what it will be like if/when CPU calls.  So strange.

Of course that made mie think that it's been over 2 years since I answered a CPU call with an emergency placement - #4 was an emergency placement but hubby answered that call and the one before that was #2 - all of the others since have been transfers from other foster homes. - Just another interesting tidbit I ponder while waiting...

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Atypical. Dysplastic.

These are the words that keep running through my head.

"Dysplastic.  It's dysplastic."

4 injections of lidocaine and 4 sets of incisions later I was left with 4 holes that I'm not allowed to let scab over and must change bandages and ointment at least once a day.  3 of them are on my back...

"Don't let them dry out.  7-10 days"


It took a full 30 hours for mie to begin to get nervous.

I know I'll be ok.

This isn't the first time it's been suspected I might have cancer.  The first time the results came back benign (but I ended up with a surgical infection - I'll take that over cancer any day!).  It was a different type then.  My son was only 6 months old or so.

Maybe that's why I've not been concerned.  I'm sure it will be fine.  I'm sure they will be benign.

But the words the doctor spoke and the way in which he spoke and the look on his face gave mie the distinct impression that this wasn't a normal visit.  There was a clear indication that at least a little concern should be warranted.

I've checked 2 websites - one indicating I should be very worried and the other indicating I may not have anything to be concerned about.  Except, maybe, trying to change bandages on my back shoulder blade at least once a day.

I'm supposed to hear back early this coming week.

"We'll call either way," she said.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Back to the core...

#9 & #10 went home this morning. They were supposed to be picked up at 9 in order to get them to their mom at 10. At 8:15 I got a call from the transporter who was at their school (with a bit of a 'tude, I might add) wondering where they were. I explained I had the agreement to come to my house at 9 in writing and she agreed to wait a few minutes before coming over.

 As a side note, caseworkers always seem to be late when it comes to everyday stuff but without fail when it comes to sending them home they are always early. What's that about?

We quickly wrapped things up, took our last picture together as a family, and walked them to the door when she arrived. She insisted we let her take them outside instead of us helping her get them to the car - this really upset mie, not because I needed to help her in the car but we ALWAYS stand together as a family on the porch and wave goodbye to the kids as they leave. ALWAYS. Frankly she couldn't really tell mie I couldn't do that in my own house but I wasn't up for a fight so we said goodbye and closed the door.

That's always a surreal moment. At one minute we have 4 kids. The next we have 2. One minute they're our family, the next we might never see them again.

My daughter asked repeatedly where the kids went and when they were coming back. Since then it's been a melancholy day. My son kept asking where everyone is, meaning the people who were supposed to be here (not the kids who left). Eventually we figured it was just so much more quiet than we're used to.

So we went to Chick-fil-A for lunch. It's not quiet there.

 Then we went to Target and bought this:

We set this up in the 105 degree heat.  As we did we watched as a summer storm was developing and inching closer, threatening to ruin or at least delay our plans to enjoy this thing.  Eventually we decided it was ok to go ahead and let the kids play, my daughter and son and my nephews, since there was no lightening in the immediate area.

I sat here on the porch, enjoying sitting with my mom who was in town, watching the kids just play and play and giggle and have a bunch of fun.  No chaos.  No screaming.  No little tiny kiddos I had to sit with in the water or help up and down the slide.  Just them having fun and mie sitting back watching.

See mie watching?

(See the unlocked can of mosquito spray?  The joys of an "empty" home.  I should have put it on too because I got a dozen bites that afternoon and I'm highly allergic.)

It took forever for mie to figure out how to take this picture with the iPad.  It's not mine - unless you consider that everything that is my husband's is mine too.  

It took even longer for mie to get this picture on this post - 2 weeks to be exact.  Apparently you can't just take pictures from the iPad and post using blogger...

2 weeks.  We took a week off before going back on the list.  We enjoyed every minute of it (and tried to clean some too).  Another week has passed.  No calls.  No new family members. 

Just us, enjoying our core family.  As always we could get a call any minute to take in some new kiddos.  We'd probably say yes.  But for now, we're happily living as a family of 4.  It's easier that way.  

But easy isn't always best.  Here's to enjoying a break and preparing for the foster care circle o' chaos that ensues with a new placement. 

You know...things like putting away that can.  I promise I'll put it away before I get a placement.  

Thursday, August 02, 2012

You Can't Have it All..

...but you can do more than you think!

I'm currently in the process of assuming a new role at work.  It's been almost two months now but half-way in my department and another were consolidated and I assumed responsibility for the combined group.  Even if everything was running smoothly prior to the consolidation that alone (along with a new leader in both groups) would be enough to manage but on top of that most of the team are new in their role, restructuring and infrastructure improvements are necessary, and there is a very heavy workload in my organization right now for great reasons.  The bad news is - it's a lot to manage right now.  Even if I worked 20+ hours a day I'd still have work to do.  So I'm learning to be content without perfection, which is quite a task for mie.  The good news is that I love what I'm doing and the craziness of it all.

So after an 8-9 hour day literally so full of meetings and work I'm not always taking the chance to eat, 2 hours of commuting, and pick-up/drop-off times at pre-school I come home pretty tired.  Then we eat dinner, spend time together, and we're trying to focus on getting our house spic-n-span and organized before new kids arrive so we're doing some of that here and there.  You know, stuff like steam cleaning the car seats (all 7 of them!) because after removing the covers to wash them we found they were NASTY underneath.  Or, stuff like finishing painting my son's room, something that was started according the date on the paint can nearly a year ago.  Oy.

This week happens to be kids week on Jeopardy - you should check it out.  This show has a long history in my family growing up and though we're not as dedicated to it as, say, our dad is we have all learned to enjoy it, including Logan.  So - add in Kids Week Jeopardy on Skype from 9:10-9:40pm, so we can watch it with my parents, literally on their tv.  It's been a blast.

Between dinner and now there have been at least 3 possibly 5 requests for snacks.  Summer goes to bed within 90 minutes of dinner time so you know the requests haven't come from her.

After all the excitement its 10:15 before we get Logan to bed, at which point I finally have the opportunity to turn on my laptop and work on my dissertation - something that is necessary if I want to graduate in December but definitely not my favorite activity at the moment.  I'm staring down the next 45-60 days that are all I have left to finalize my dissertation, get it edited, and defend it.  Lord help me.

I've been working on it until 12:30am or so.  Add in random text conversations till 3am with someone I know who's struggling with something right now, setting off the house alarm when trying to let the dogs out, and the 3rd night antics of the son who insists on sleeping on top of mie rather than just in my bed, and you can imagine I'm not getting much sleep.  My alarm is set for 5:30-5:45am.  I'm tired.

This post said it well.  Of course at first I thought ", I really couldn't just do it (run)...and I wanted to be defensive" but that is missing the point.  People ask us all the time how we do it.  All. The. Time.  The answer is...

You. Just. Do.  If something is important to you, you figure it out.  You sleep less.  You don't do other stuff.  You prioritize important stuff.  You deprioritize other stuff.

So next time you find yourself thinking "I could never...(insert your big hairy audacious almost goal here)", make sure you follow it up with "because EVERYTHING else I do is much more important".  Need help?  Here are a few I can think of...

"I can't foster, my fear of giving them up is much more important than taking care of a child who doesn't have a family right now".
"I can't be a foster parent, managing a consistent, reliable schedule is much more important than taking care of an orphan (temporary or permanent)."
"I can't adopt, my comfort with my current small, easy to manage family is much more important than giving a child a family forever".

I could go on.  You may find yourself in the same position I was when I read the other blog I linked to earlier, defending your inability to add something to your plate.  I say, as long as your "I can't...because XXXX is so much more important" is something you can live with, then you have nothing to worry about.  If you're honest and find that you can't foster because you have more important things to do like watching The Bachelorette and getting pedicures regularly, try picturing yourself telling that to the child who is sleeping in a shelter tonight because there wasn't a home open when he/she came into care.  Imagine telling that to the children who were split up and sent to live in separate homes because no one was willing to take siblings.  Imagine telling that to the child sent to the abusive/neglectful foster home that was just looking for cash.  (You could use this for things not related to foster try telling yourself on your death bed that you never got that degree you always wanted because you needed to keep up with The Bachelorette).  You get the point.

You can't do everything.  I can't do everything.  I have to say no.  You have to say no.  Let's just be sure we're saying no to things we can't do because the things we're saying yes to really are THAT IMPORTANT.