We were foster parents for almost 2 years when we lived in Colorado (we left there almost 5 years ago, WOW)... Anyway, we moved overseas where we couldn't foster, but then once we moved back to the states, we started and stopped the process... twice. There are a few reasons for this starting and stopping, and it's taken lots of soul searching and heartfelt discussions to be able to come up with these...
1. The biggest reason of all, and still the one that to this day, nearly 5 years later, is the pain of saying goodbye. It doesn't matter how long they were with us, the shortest stay was only 6 weeks, we gave them all of us that we had to give. And not just me and Ron, but the boys also... especially Price... Wesley was only 18 months old himself when we got our first placement, so he barely has a memory of any of the kiddos, and that could just be a shared memory with us (I still have pictures of them hanging in my house)... I see the faces of the children I loved and don't have anymore. I'm not even trying to say that it compares at all to outliving on of your children, I'm just saying that the horrible pain of saying goodbye is a hard thing to get over.
2. Ron and I have gotten comfortable and content with our boys. They are both old enough to get most of the things they need for themselves, and the thought of starting over (even with a todder/preschool aged kiddo) made us hesitate.
3. Wesley has never been the "big brother", and I know for a fact that he loves being "the baby", so I know that transition will be hard for him, and while he says he wants us to foster, to "help kids feel better", he really doesn't know what it's like to have a 2 year old destroy your legos or try to rip apart your pictures you paint. I know that process will be difficult for him.
4. Price was COMPLETELY against this a year ago... when we asked him what he thought of when we said "Foster family" he said... "Leaving... they always leave" (I told you that part was hard on us all).
I've listened to him talk this out over the last year, and we've all done our best to be as open as possible in our discussions. During all of this discussion time, we were going through the licensing process for our county in Maryland, knowing that maybe we'd go through the whole process and say... nevermind. The bottom line is that we believe we can help a family in crisis, and this is the way we are choosing to help.
I know, without a doubt, that my gifting and calling from the Holy Spirit is to protect and nurture children, but what I'm unsure of how it will play out in my life. That doesn't mean I'm not excited to find out!
We'll receive our license sometime in the next couple of weeks, and the waiting will begin for our first placement. Please join us in praying for the children that will pass through our home... and all of the people that will be affected by that...