As I start today fresh, I’m reminded of a line from the movie Cars. ‘Cause I’m cultured like that.
Mater is showing McQueen how he can drive backwards and says: I don’t need to know where I’m going, I just need to know where I been.
It seems like such a silly thing to say. It sounds sillier now that I’m looking at it and trying to share the profundity that statement has sparked in me.
I’ve approached life much like Mater. Every new adventure is like walking into a dark room. I’m not much of a planner. I certainly don’t spend time reasoning. I usually try to guess worst case scenario and if I can survive that, then it’s a go. Much to Leo’s angst, I like to follow my whims and figure out the details as I need them. Becoming a foster parent has been a perfect model of how this system works for me.
It’s been an absolutely incredible experience, but I have no idea what the next phase will be like. What I do know, is that when we say yes to kids again, we will be fully armed with the lessons we’ve learned and the experience we’ve had with Angelo and Bianca.
When we started fostering we had some idea of what we expected. Mostly we expected to be surprised.
That’s a good thing, because we’ve been both pleasantly and unpleasantly surprised plenty since this journey began.
One thing we were certain of from the beginning was that we would not move kids around. Once they landed in our home, they would stay until permanency was a viable option for them.
We were surprised to find ourselves singing a different tune so quickly.
“That won’t happen to us” we thought. We’ll be model parents. We’ll never pass kids on. We’ll never back down.
We were wrong.
Angelo and Bianca’s move was a most humbling experience for us. These are lives. Fragile, tender, bruised and battered lives we’re dealing with. These are children. Real, live, breathing, heart beating children.
Our decision to move them was made not because we were inconvenienced. Angelo and Bianca were doing well enough. Simeon though, was regressing in a manner that determined our final decision. He began having accidents, rages, moments of vacancy, etc. Nearly eight months of work with him began to unravel.
After consulting with his case worker, his supervisor, his therapists, Angelo and Bianca’s case worker and God, we determined that Angelo and Bianca were strong enough to take the move, and may be better off for it. Simeon, on the other hand, was not strong enough to continue with the way things were.
I had barely put feet on the floor when my phone rang this morning. More kids. These sound like a perfect fit. I called back and explained some of our reservations and the worker said she’d look some more, and would call back if there were no homes available today.
I haven’t heard back yet, and part of me feels really scared. Like I’ve fallen off a horse and I’m debating whether or not to try again.
I suppose if I get a call back today, I’ll be willing to give it a go. My responsiblity is to ensure the best care for any child we meet, no matter how hard that is for any of us. I don’t know what our next placement will look like. But I don’t really need to. I don’t need to know where I’m going. I just need to know where I been.