Before we shared our announcement about foster parenting on Facebook, I changed my mind about hitting “Post” upwards of 50 times. Ethan and I were already feeling raw and vulnerable from the training and application process, so sharing the news with all the people on our social media sites was terrifying. At one point, I looked at Ethan and asked, “But what if we back out?” He looked me straight in the eye, and said, “Doesn’t matter. We’re supposed to share this story. Now please hit post, so we can have dinner.” (Real-life dialogue is never as quotable as we want it to be). So we shared.
We were overwhelmed by the positive comments and support that we received after posting. Multiple people reached out to offer their support (social workers, former foster parents, current foster parents, friends of foster parents) or to let us know they were willing to donate childcare items as needed. With our newfound support system, we didn’t feel quite as insecure or insane. We were at an over-confident self high for a few days (I’ll admit that at one point we turned to each other and said, “Oh, this will be easy!” Don’t judge us too harshly, please). Now we just had to wait for our license.
About five weeks after our home study (we were told we’d hear back within 4-5 weeks), we were starting to get anxious. Every time we see people, their first question is, “So… When do you get your first kiddo?” and for the past two months, our answer has been, “We don’t know yet.” Then, about two weeks ago, we got a text from our trainer/social worker letting us know that there had been some unexpected delays and they were missing some paperwork that they’d forgotten to ask us for, so our packet hadn’t been submitted yet. The past 4-5 weeks we’d essentially been waiting for nothing.
“Disappointed" is probably the best word to describe the tone of our conversation that night as we gathered the paperwork to send off. It's hard to be in this waiting phase. On one hand, we feel guilty for our impatience; it seems misplaced because we're waiting for permission to take in children from broken families. On the other hand, we know that there is an increased need for foster families around the holidays, and we wish that we could be meeting that need. We’ve spent the past six months preparing for this and we honestly just want to get started. We want to rip the bandaid of horror stories and bad expectations off and dive in. It’s similar to the feeling you get when you’re riding a rollercoaster, when it has slowly climbed to the top of the first hill, and you’re just about to go over… But you have to sit (sometimes facing down the hill) and wait for enough of the cars to go over the top to actually plunge. Anticipation is the worst. (Ethan actually can’t relate to this very well because he hates rollercoasters, but all you fellow thrill-seekers out there - I’m speaking to you.)
The good news is, we did get confirmation today that our packet has officially been sent to the state for review. We’re back at waiting up to 4-5 weeks (especially with the holidays). Our update isn’t really an update, but it’s part of the process and we’re committed to sharing (plus, it’s good for us to get used to the system).
So, right now we're waiting. Still waiting. We’re inching our way up the hill, but we know we’re close to the top. The plunge is coming. And we're ready. Hands up, here we go.