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March 07, 2012

you never know

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Amy and I haven't been talking about our ongoing training and qualifications for foster parenting. This is where we are. I'd like to remember.

Our intention is to foster and hopefully adopt a child through the Bair Foundation. The training and numerous checks and balances are a hassle but certainly understandable. The agency learning about you and you learning about yourself and what you're getting into is a valuable process that cannot be accomplished through a questionnaire or lecture.

Why are we doing this? [I ask myself some times]. Because we have room for another child in our hearts and home. Because there is a need, and our faith calls us to action, and we take it seriously.  

During our final training session today, the social worker told us that about 10% of people who begin the process both qualify and choose to follow through with fostering. They know what they're doing, offering all they can to set your family and the adoptive child up for success.

But they also plainly tell you that "you never know." Some seemingly perfect placements go poorly while others expected to be rocky end up doing quite well.

You never know. So they suggest that you pray. That scares me, quite honestly. They're plainly saying that the deal doesn't make much sense for reasonable people. Maybe it does for a family that faces fertility issues, but even then...

I've had daydreams during training, seeing visions of feces smeared on the walls, living room curtains ablaze, coming home to find Amy struggling to apply a physical restraint. Each of these circumstances were specifically addressed, so maybe I was paying attention for the most part.

Hell yes we are scared. We're scared by him/her, unnamed and without a face, full of every behavioral and psychological issue, bound by miles of red tape and inconvenience. But by Gods grace most children come with a name and a face and without every worst case scenario.

Maybe we are idealistic, naive, and looney - Amy and I rushing to help one child in the name of the Lord. We're not acting out of some kind of obligation or guilt. But in our minds we tried on a relatively secure future, comfortable, trusting in ourselves, looking back and wondering why we didn't try.

I'm wondering if that's the worst case scenario.

So we're praying about it. Because you never know.

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