Last night was our last group meeting for our foster care certification. We had a pretty large crowd with lots of people coming to show their support for members of our class. Both sets of our parents made it, and I was happy to see them. Most the speakers were good. It was very informative to find out about the process that goes on before the kids actually enter the system. Then we heard from a fairly new foster parent. Jen finished classes in January and was called for her 1st placement the next day. I don't expect that to happen to us, but it would be wonderful if it did. I was surprised to see Jen there. We know each other through Rob's aunt. Jen's daughter, Lainey, was stillborn a few months after Madison was born. Rob's aunt gave her Madison's memorial site, and we started to email back and forth for a while after that. I had no idea that I actually knew someone in my area that's fostering too. We also have the same home study worker, A. Jen says that A is a good person to have and works hard at her job.
After Jen spoke we heard from a former foster child that's now a 40 year old married mother of 2. Her story brought the room to tears, and really brought home the need for good foster care parents. She talked about the 3 foster homes she was in over a 2 year period starting at age 8. 1 of them was closed due to abuse. The father was sexually abusing the girls in the home, and the reason it came to light was that one of the girls got pregnant. It broke my heart to listen to her talk about never telling anyone she was abused until years later, and not caring if the man was ever convicted just as long as he was never allowed to foster children again. She talked about a memory from that home of going clothes shopping for school, and being taken to the cheap store to buy her clothes. Then the mom took her biological kids to a nicer store, and bought them designer clothes. It's been almost 30 years since that incident, and you can still hear the hurt in her voice. I just can't imagine taking a child into my home only to treat them like a 2nd class citizen. She went into the system with 2 older sisters and lost both of them within a year, one ran away and the other was moved to a home that didn't keep the lines of communication open among the siblings. It was wonderful to hear that her last foster home turned out to be the best. They loved her like a child deserves to be loved. Her foster dad walked her down the aisle, and they are her children's grandparents now. That family also loved her and her mother. They even helped her mother once she was released from prison, one month after she graduated from high school.
When I left there I was ready to get another bedroom ready in our home to help as many children as we could when the time came. I was so inspired to take action. But I know that I just need to focus on being ready for one right now, but if God sees fit to hand me more I will cross that bridge then. I know that even helping one child at a time is making a huge difference in the world of that child. We most likely will turn my office into a bedroom again, but not right now. It's going to take some planning, purging of some items, and hard work. It's not really something that can be done in a night. So now we're just waiting to hear back from our home study worker to have our 2nd visit. I hope she gets back to me tomorrow since I called her this morning, but she was out on calls and visits.
Patience is a virtue...patience is a virtue.