I received an email from Arrow this afternoon that froze me. I had been told years ago to expect this. I might have even been told more recently than that, but it wasn't on my radar and I emotionally froze. I closed the email and continued teaching my students and sent them on a lovely Spring Break and drove to meet V for dinner and a movie without thinking about it again. Um, yeah. If you know me at ALL, you know this is abnormal. I think about something TO DEATH sometimes.
Arrow wants me to strongly consider being licensed for two girls. They don't receive many single placements in my age range and while it would always be on a case by case basis, they think two would help me receive a placement.
I just described to you what my brain did. Hard shutdown.
I had forgotten that they would pressure me to accept more than I had asked for. I wasn't emotionally prepared to think about it, face it, deal with.
When I started talking about it with V, logistical questions arose. What about a bed? It's no longer man on man defense. They outnumber me! Where is the second one going to sleep! Two. TWO! I'm just one. single. girl. I'm not super woman. Throughout so much of this process, I have been trembling inside the whole time. I'm not strong. I'm petrified. PETRIFIED. I'm alone and that's scary. I've never been a parent. And that's scary. I so want to love her well. But, what about when I mess up? She's already had the kind of life that caused her to be removed from the human beings that should love her above all else. My stumbling around not knowing how to be a parent could be huge. See? Fear!
I'm just a teacher making less than most of America. I can't provide the same lifestyle she could get with a two parent home. I just can't. And two cost more. That's just facts. See? Fear!
But then I start thinking about how she could have a sister to play with and fight with and learn social skills with and learn to face life head on together. That would be amazing, right?
Ok, but back to logistics. I have a trundle that literally does not have space to be pulled out. Which means buying a bunk bed, which is doable....but is that even the path I want to take? The path of two? How do I know?
I am 100% positive the Lord has called me to foster, but the small details He hasn't been as clear on. Timing (Summer? School year? Now? Fall?) He hasn't given as much direction. Numbers (One? Two?) I know there are times in my life He can glorify Himself as He wants to no matter which path I choose. I know that. That doesn't mean I don't want Him to just make the decision and allow me to be obedient. I can do that. I can be obedient. Just don't ask me to choose. That's hard!
I "met" a Facebook friend tonight for the first time. We talked on the phone almost 30 minutes and she was so gracious to share her experiences with me. Some things I hadn't thought about that will break my heart when the time comes. Some points I just wasn't sure of, she cleared up. The entire conversation was a gift from the Lord, and I am so grateful.
One thing I do know...this has magnified being single. Being single sucks. There are certain aspects of single hood that don't bother me. (but that's not really the point of this particular post.) There are certain aspects I'd thought of in regards to parenting: loving her, raising her, looking towards her future, having a solid, Christian man around to show her how a man is supposed to treat a woman, disciplining her, having a second set of hands around, and the list continues.
One thing I hadn't thought of...that will be excruciatingly painful for me. I will have no one to talk with about certain things. It will be HER story to share and there will be SO much of it that I cannot share. And that will be hard. I will cry alone. And that will be hard. I will parent alone. And that will be hard. I will not be the only one to love her, but I will be the one to raise her for the precious time we have together. And I will be alone.
And...well....that just stinks.
I'm crying for the second time tonight. Because my heart is already breaking for the little one He has for me. And because I'm listening to God is a Warrior on repeat...and it has a whole new meaning for me tonight.