This was written a while back, but just getting around to posting.....
When we were in the process of finalizing the adoption with the girls, taking new foster placements wasn't an option. We were at our limit of 2 placements and my phone did not ring. DHS came out for their quarterly visits, but honestly it was much more relaxed. Their caseworker and I knew each other pretty well at this point so even those monthly visits were short and to the point. Everything was settling in to our new sense of normal. Life with 4 young kids settled, I could leave J. O. at home at bedtime and not worry....we were good.
Then, one night J. O. and I were talking and he and I agreed that after the adoption was final we would not take another placement. We would help out with respite but that's it. We decided we would keep our home open though, because one day the kids would be past baby and toddler stage and we didn't want to reopen. Then, the phone started ringing and emergency turned to temporary, which turned to as long as necessary. And we are great with that. We have a spot for a placement and love taking new children and getting to know them, and their story, for however long they may be with us.
But right now, we are on a break. I feel like Ross when he was shouting to Rachel post break up...."WE WERE ON A BREAK!!" and I can totally relate to him. DHS number calling? No worries..."WE ARE ON A BREAK!", I see a post on FB, no big deal...."WE ARE ON A BREAK!"....people asking who we have right now, I got this...."WE ARE ON A BREAK"....
And I have to admit, it's kinda nice. Our reason for this short break is because we just had a placement leave last week and we are heading to the beach in a few weeks. It would just be hard to send a new placement to another stranger immediately. So our break consists of around 4 weeks and I will take it. Like today.....let me just tell you what happened today. As you read this, I imagine there are Angels singing. Trey had basketball camp from 1-4, sweet Bethany took Addison and Annalise swimming during this time and Grace slept. The whole time. And I watched tv. Alone. And laid down. And ate almonds. And drank Spark with no one sneaking a drink. And I cried at Keeping up with the Kardashians. True story.
And meanwhile, we are still on a break. But the harsh reality is, there are kids who are not on a break. They are not attending basketball camp. They are not swimming in a neighborhood pool. They are not asleep in a safe house. They are wondering who will take them for the night, weekend, or in extreme cases, forever. They are scared. They are lonely. They are mad.
The reality is, we are home and living on easy street. But other kids are not that lucky. The harsh truth is....we may not be taking placements but kids are still entering care. Summer is hard. Summer is hard for families to take new placements, but summer doesn't change the fact that kids still enter foster care. Maybe this summer you SHOULDN'T take a break. Maybe you should attend an info meeting. Maybe you should volunteer at DHS. Maybe you should look at the Heart Gallery. Maybe God is saying..."Hey, break time is over. Get up and move."
We are confident that this month is our rest. We are to be a family of 6, pray, rest, watch tv, play, go to the lake, etc. But, we are only to take a break. We aren't supposed to go to sleep. And I feel safe saying, you shouldn't be asleep either.