Monday, April 07, 2014

The One Where I'm a Jack Ass

I have tried to write this post so many times, there are like 6 drafts of this very post.  It's hard to write a post where you admit you are a jackass.  Now that I think about it, maybe I should have just reworked one of the ones I already did but I'm going to try to start fresh again.  I'm just going to rip it off like a band-aid.  Here goes.

I turned down two boys a few weeks ago.  One was two and the other was three.  To this day I am so full of ambivalence about it.  What the hell is the matter with me?

The reality of taking in two boys just immediately seemed overwhelming to me.  I think in my mind I envisioned a call for a three month old, like one kid, to get my feet wet, and I would get some time to adjust to having a kid in the house before having two crazy toddlers and feeling like I'm running a daycare.  I felt like I was behind the 8 ball before I even picked them up.  And I felt like I would never catch up.  I hadn't even met them and this was my initial feeling.

But then later I started feeling like I had made a dreadful mistake.  What if that was my one shot and I blew it?  So many "what-ifs."  And I felt like an ass.  I signed up to help some kids that need us and then I turn them down.

This is a difficult journey.  It's making me question everything.  I hope I figure it out, I hope I get another chance to take in a child.  I hope I can figure this out.

Since then there's been nothing, radio silence.  I'm just hoping so hard for the best but I have to be ready to accept it when the opportunity comes up.  Just say YES.  I did finally buy a car seat.  We are total ready.  No really, this time I'm ready.

13 comments:

  1. Lori,
    I am just finishing my master's degree in social work. I don't have experience w/ the foster care system, but from a social worker perspective, I want to give you an "atta girl" for knowing your limits and for being able to say "no" to something that felt overwhelming. That doesn't make you a "jackass". It makes you human and probably a little bit wise :) Two toddlers who have probably known trauma and neglect (assuming here??) would challenge most people. Sending you (and the little one who needs you) good wishes for the next opportunity.

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    1. Thank you Lynna. I remember during our classes our social worker said about a foster parent that they kept turning down kids and he had to give them a peptalk. I thought at the time, no way I would be like that, but I guess I am a little bit.

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  2. As a mom of three I'm telling you, 3 month old or running toddler, you will never really be ready or feel ready. You will have moments of "what have I done?" and feeling like you will never have things under control again, ever. It happens to every parent. Just trust that your maternal instincts and you will figure it all out - whether that means starting with bottles and nighttime feedings, or cheerios and Disney Jr. Then of course it will all change as they keep growing! The joys and struggles of parenthood. Just jump in and don't look back - fostering is a wonderful way to help a child and learn a lot about yourself.

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    1. Yes, I know this in my heart but it's just a weird sensation to get a call that immediately can change everything. Most people get 9 months to let it sink in and then a bunch of months to figure it all out with a baby who won't remember anything. I just felt with them being 2 and 3 they would call me on my bluff right away and know I didn't know what I was doing. And they'd be right. ;-)

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    2. A 2 and 3 year old won't call you on your bluffing. You are still the parent to them. The big cheese. They assume you know. And you will learn! Don't torture yourself with regret. Maybe when that next call comes you'll be more mentally prepared for the possibility.

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  3. Hi there, I'm a long time reader having never commented before. It is very refreshing to read such an honest account of the whole process you have been through and are continuing to go through. Don't beat yourself up over the decision you made, I for one definitely need to learn to follow my gut reaction more often; if I was in your situation the offer of two toddlers would have been completely overwhelming, I've heard of hitting the ground running but this would have just been too much for me. There are so many kids out there in need of a loving home, I'm sure another opportunity will come your way soon. I know it's easy to say but, good things will come for you. Thank you for continuing to share your journey.

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    1. That you Loubielou, that's always my intention to give an honest account of everything I'm going through. I guess I'm just always expecting the worst reactions especially now if I complain about not getting a match. I can already feel the eyes rolling. But I think I knew I was making the right choice for me and holding out will hopefully work out. There's always this part of me that thinks maybe I'm not supposed to have kids too, that this is all happening for a reason. I don't think that's true and I want to prove that part of me as wrong, hopefully I'll get the opportunity.

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  4. Older kids (or more than one child) have more advantages than you might think. They sleep all night. They already have all their teeth. They eat normal food. You can go take them places to play and explore. They may play with each other and entertain each other. Not all toddlers are wild. It's actually a great age when they can communicate their needs. I have had 2.5 years to adjust to being a parent and I still don't have much of a clue. I agree with the previous commenters that you never feel ready AND I appreciate your honest account. People will always roll their eyes at SOMETHING. For example, my husband and I have chosen to have an only child and people just don't understand it! But I think being the best parent means being a happy parent. So you have to trust your own limitations.

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    1. Those are good points regarding older children.

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  5. As an adoptive mom of a toddler, I have to agree with the first commenter. Trauma exposed toddlers are hard - not insurmountable but hard. That fact that it was a sibling group and they were BOTH toddlers might not be the best placement for a first time FP. Had one been older or younger....but they were not. I commend you on knowing your limits for what is best for both your family and the child(ren) being placed with you.

    Also - to piggy back on what the second commenter said - Even when the placement is right - don't be surprised to find yourself saying "WHAT HAVE I DONE?!?!" quite regularly. No matter how a child enters your family bio/adoptive/foster you will feel like this.

    Fingers crossed for you - that the right placement is just around the corner!

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    1. Thanks for you comment Rebeckah, apparently I missed 2 notifications via email. I feel very much like you do. Thanks so much.

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  6. Hey Lori, just wanted to comment a little...I work in the system so first off, trust your gut. I too am unable to have kids, was given a heads up about 2 little girls around the same age as you mentioned and turned them down. I felt like such a fake...saying I wanted kids and turning them down but the truth is, it didn't feel right to me and I later found out these little girls were extremely troubled...I would have been the (single) parent of 2 very troubled children overnight! Too much for me and I know that about myself. Don't ever doubt yourself. As an aside, my brother, who is 17 years my junior, was adopted as a 3 day old infant from foster care...we all love him to pieces and it always felt right and natural. Your baby is out there...wait for him or her.

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  7. Hi Gemma, sorry I missed this comment to get it posted earlier. Thanks you for your kind words. They echo what I feel to be true. I think I'll just feel it, this is our baby, sort of thing. Instinctively it just didn't feel right to me. I hope it works out, I hope the right baby is out there for us, but I feel confident, that for me, I made the right choice.

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