I made a new decision, pretty much this past weekend.
It has to do with this post. It’s kind of a response (…to myself).
I have decided that a few things that previously seemed contradictory don’t really have to be.
For example, as some of you may know, TDFPS (formerly known as “CPS”) is officially, always “pro-reunification” as a first choice for every foster kid; meaning the number one objective is to get that family whatever help or services it needs to where the child can be safely sent home. They are not an adoption agency, as such.
Adoption is the result of tragedy. It really is (in most cases). Does that mean it’s bad? Haaayyylll no, if you’ll excuse my non-verbal language. But adoption doesn’t happen because the world is perfect and right, I can tell you that. It is, to be appropriately dramatic, making life out of (sometimes but not always literal) death. It is making a whole out of some busted-up parts. It is a frankly stupendous (stupendous!) picture of the very concept of redemption. But it is necessarily something born out of trauma, poverty, or dysfunction, in every case I can think of.
I think that as Christians we should be similarly motivated (for family rehabilitation/reunification). The best case in my mind, even if not always in my HEART (I have to help my heart keep up sometimes) is for our little man’s (and every little person’s) mommy and daddy to learn how to live functionally and how to parent well and how to support themselves, and to be able to raise their own biological child. That is actually the best case scenario.
In layman’s terms, a lot of people have started calling this being “pro-bio family,” meaning as a foster parent you’re not just wanting to rescue a kid out of something into your awesome life and world, but you’re setting yourself in the mindset of wanting to will and to work toward rehabilitation of the family unit. Amazing inspirational example here.
Ok, so. There have been times where I’ve kinda been like “yeah, but I want to KEEP him.” And then I feel terrible and selfish.
Well, so I’ve realized that I can SIMULTANEOUSLY, and NOT-HYPOCRITICALLY, hope that his bio parents come to certain understandings and become individuals that can effectively care for themselves and their children; AND I can hope in the event that that does not occur, that the baby will not go home, but will in fact stay with us forever and ever and ever. Because, I mean I hate to say it, but let’s be real: A lot of kids go right back to situations in which nobody rehabilitated nothing. It’s just the truth.
So I hope that his parents are rehabilitated and then that he could go to his loving, functional bio family, AND I hope that if they are not, that we get to keep him.
Ok, inner turmoil solved.
I have also decided that you can hope for something and also know that it might not happen, and know that if it doesn’t happen, you’re not a sucker.
I am one of those people (major self-disclosure here) that always likes to be ahead of, or at least on top of, things. If I don’t know about something people are talking about, I keep my mouth shut as much as possible until I can figure it out. If I don’t think I can do something at at least a B level, I won’t even undertake it.
I also have figured out that I tend to only want to hope for things that have a reasonable (emphasis on REASON) chance of working out. I have to have factual knowledge to show me that this is a safe thing to hope for.
Thing is, that’s not really what hope IS exactly. And that’s also not where we live, at the moment.
If I decide to wait until I know enough about something to admit that I hope for it, I’m never going to get there, until the thing is realized, and then it’s not hope any more.
Here we go.
I hope his parents find good counsel and whatever it is that they need to become responsible, peaceable, loving parents.
I also hope that he gets to be in our family FOREVAH and I get to watch (and help) him grow all the way up into an honest, respectful, hard-working young man.
I also hope that we have a biological kid, sometimes. I think that would be a lot of fun (yes, go ahead, yuk it up about how much “fun” childbearing is). Sometimes I desperately hope for that. Often I’m like really, it could go either way and I’d be fine, because my heart is so fully in this adoption thing. Either way, it wouldn’t be an either/or situation. But yes, I think it would be safe to say that if I am honest, I hope for that.
I also hope that even more kids, more than the ones that will find their permanent home here at our house, will find families and homes because of what people have seen or learned from us. I really do. For the kids that otherwise might never be able to put down roots and learn about a parent’s unconditional love… and for families that will learn the joy and fulfillment that ONLY come with self-sacrifice and doing things that seem scary.
Maybe that is expensive, as I said before. Maybe I’ll wish I hadn’t gone and TOLD everybody so that when whatever thing doesn’t happen, they don’t pity me (which is pretty much one of my biggest fears). (Which is also…wait for it…PRIDE. Plain and simple.)
But right now, I believe that hope isn’t foolishness or weakness, it’s not being naive; and those are things that I hereby HOPE.