The Beauty of Fostering

One of my dear friends and her husband have been going through the process to foster kids since 2019. They made the decision after they realized that they wanted a family, but couldn’t have kids of their own.

This woman is one of the kindest souls I know. We’ve known each other since I was pregnant with my daughter and I remember the days sharing the excitement for Della to arrive. After my daughter was born, she begged and begged to “steal” Della for a Saturday. She would pick up Della on a Saturday morning and bring her back Sunday after church. Della would often come back wearing brand new clothes holding multiple new toys. I knew this woman and her husband loved my daughter like their own, so I had no doubt that their decision to become foster parents was the right one.

Today she walked to my desk right at 5 o’clock as I was getting ready to pack up and leave work for the day. She took a deep breath and said, “Sooo I’ve been wrapped up on the phone for the last half hour because our case worker called.”

I felt the excitement well inside of me. They just finished the entire certification process about two weeks ago. We’ve been waiting for the go-time call.

“We’re getting kids tonight.”

A smile immediately broke on my face and I asked her how many.

“We’re getting a 9 year old boy, an 8 year old girl, a 6 year old boy, AND a 3 month old baby girl.”

My jaw dropped.

She laughed and said, “I had to take a deep breath before I came over to tell you because I knew that would be your reaction!”

I clasped my hands together and shared my excitement for her. We talked more about it for awhile and then I packed my things and went home.

I have been smiling ALL NIGHT!!

To think that all of this is finally coming together is so exciting! Not only because we now have new kids to shower with love, but also because I know that they did not take this decision lightly. It was a huge, incredible, life-changing choice that they contemplated and worked towards for a very long time.

I feel proud to have stood by their sides in support through it all.

And it’s all finally falling into place.

To think that there are people out there that are willing to drop everything to provide for children that are being raised in less than desirable conditions makes me feel an immense amount of respect and admiration. Stories like this one give me hope that society is far better than it’s often betrayed because there are people that are full of compassion and understanding in circumstances like these. There are people that are willing to open their doors for others in need. There are people that do the right things for all of the right reasons.

And it’s worth admiring!

Excuses & Friendships

Maintaining friendships after parenthood is hard. Most parents will agree.

But I always kind of had a hard time keeping up with others even before I had a baby. I have always been more introverted, and I can’t really think of a time in my life where I truly felt like I had a “best friend.” Sure, I had people I trusted, hung out with, and considered more than a simple acquaintance, but I never really felt a connection deep enough to where I felt totally comfortable and completely understood.

A short time ago, I had an old high school friend message me and ask how the baby and I were. I hadn’t heard from this friend in quite a while. I will admit, I was being petty about her not coming to visit me like I feel a good friend should. After all, she lives a county away from me. When she messaged me, I was busy doing whatever thing I had on my list of things to do as a working mom, so I gave her a simple: “We’re good.”

I didn’t mean anything negative by it. I was just … BUSY! So she ended up getting upset about how she tries to keep up with me now that I have a baby and that all I do is shut her out. I can see where she is coming from. In all honesty, I will probably always be the type to keep my distance when it comes to outsiders. I like friendship and I do believe that healthy relationships are important, I just no longer have the time to put a bunch of effort into people that aren’t making an actual, solid attempt to see me. You can make every excuse under the sun as to why you don’t go visit someone, but when it comes down to it… it just shows that you don’t actually care that much. And I told her just that.

How much you care is how much you try.

On the other hand, I had a friend that actually put in a great deal of effort to see me and meet my daughter for the first time. When I first got out of high school, I headed straight to Eastern Illinois University. There I met a girl named Tiffany. Now, we both only went to school there for one semester, but we were thick as thieves. We would run out to my car and smoke cigarettes, go to the frat houses, and hang out in our dorm rooms. All college fun… but that was four years ago. We never lost touch. 

Tiffany and I while in college

Tiffany and I this past weekend

I actually met up with Tiff in Chicago about a year ago, and then this past weekend she made the four hour trek to come visit me and meet my daughter.

I’d say that is a helluva lot more effort than most people give.

And we had only seen one another one time in the last four years.

My point of this isn’t to bitch about the people that aren’t putting effort into relationships.

My point is… The people that care, will show up.

It doesn’t matter if you only knew them for a total of four months.

It doesn’t matter if you haven’t seen them in years.

And it doesn’t matter how far away they are.

If they care, they will show up.