Friday, April 11, 2008

The Foster Care Roller Coaster

Last night I stayed up way too late, which for me is not an unusual occurrence, but last night I stayed up almost unwillingly, as if drawn like a magnet.

At three months now Iggy is sleeping a solid 8 hours a night, bedtime at about 20:30 and then a final bottle to "top him off" at 23:30. That bottle takes ten or fifteen minutes tops and then the sleepy baby is changed and whisked right back into his bed with a full belly and a clean diaper. I actually prefer if he is slightly awake as it helps him learn to fall back to sleep on his own. But last night was different.

Thursday is the day that he goes to visit his mother and siblings during supervised visits at the courthouse. For the most part the baby is clueless as to what is going on and goes with the flow. I used to look at that time as a two hour mini break for me and time to spend with the kids sans an infant. Lately I have not wanted to go. It has really hit me recently that I am raising another woman's child, not simply "fostering". This baby has no clue that I am not the one who gave birth to him and that his lighter skinned siblings (my three) are not linked to him genetically as an older foster child would. There are no tears to soothe as he yearns for "home", we are all he knows. We are his home.

If Iggy were to go home tomorrow he would adjust very well. Our routine and family would slowly fade from his memory as he adjusted to life with his biological mother. In 6 months he would be fine as well. In a year? Much harder, but still quite doable. I know of many friends who have adopted children under 2 and 3 years of age and the child adapts to the new family very quickly and the new family becomes their constant and loving reality.

I absolutely want the Lord's will for this precious boy. It it too bizarre of a feeling to explain, but my desires do not play into this at all. I thought I would be a little more selfish in this situation and glimpses of that trait have peeked through, but for the most part I am content to just see what the plan for Iggy's life will be.

Last night I finished feeding Iggy and put him on my shoulder to burp him. After complying he snuggled down onto my chest and happily fell asleep as I rocked him in the glider. I had no desire whatsoever to put him in his crib although my eyes burned from being so tired and I could barely contain my exaggerated yawns.

I took the opportunity to pray for him with an intensity I had not done before. For him, his future wife (should he have one), his children, his salvation, their salvation, the opportunity for him to witness to his biological family should he go home, and many other things. I simply did not want to physically let go of him last night.

So I sat and cuddled and prayed with him until about 01:30 when my bones ached for my own bed while my heart yearned to sleep in the glider with Iggy all night. My bones won out and I finally went to bed.

It is an odd thing being a foster parent. I know that every situation is different and there may be a placement that I am sooo ready to send home, but Iggy is not that placement. This is almost the ideal first foster placement and quite possibly the very hardest. The Lord's perfect will remains to be revealed, but I am quite anxious to know what it shall be.


Carolyn said...

My heart hurts with yours. I will be praying for you!

Mrs. Sam said...

Pray strong Aduladi...

Renae said...

My eyes filled with tears for this little one. I will mingle my prayers with yours. May your love be a strong foundation.

Jamie said...

I can't imagine the way your heart strings are being pulled. It is amazing how you love this precious boy, even knowing he may not always be with your family. I love to hear how it is going. Praying for Iggy and your precious family!