Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Anger to Actions

I have spent several evenings wallowing in despair and anger while our foster-adopt process stalls and we wait for the next step in the Jamaican adoption. Yesterday reminded me there are worse things in life. A friend's 20-year old sister was told her cancer has returned after being a 2-year survivor. There is no fairness in this wonderful young woman having to battle cancer again. She was just beginning to feel healthy, was working and she is in her last quarter of junior college. She has such dreams to pursue! This week she will find out what the plan of attack will be this time around.

It angers me greatly that this young woman has to fight for her life while drug runners are living off the lives of others. It angers me that we have been told by the state they really need foster parents, but our process is taking many more months than others who began the process with us. It angers me that orphan teens in Jamaica do not have a proper boundary around their facility to protect them from sexual predators.

While I cannot fix any of these problems, with God's help and motivation, I can make small differences. I can support my friend and her family while her sister fights cancer. I can support legislators who support cancer research. I can help other parents wanting to become foster parents and I can help children in the foster care system. I can support Embracing Orphans as they improve the lives of Jamaica's orphaned. I can support the concrete wall to be built at Windsor Girls' Home in Jamaica. Support is through advocation, prayer and financial giving. Through the anger and actions, the Lord provides me with patience to deal with the unfairness of life. At times the the actions overwhlem the anger, but other times the anger overwhelms the patience and actions. When the anger is overwhelming, my punching bag is quite useful.

If there is a situation that angers you, I ask you to take action to correct the situation in any small way.
If cancer angers you - raise funds for the cancer society Relay For Life, comfort a cancer patient and their family, volunteer in a cnacer ward.
If the foster care system angers you - become a foster parent, become a guardian ad litum, mentor and support a foster child, advocate for changes in the law and funding to get children out of foster care sooner.
If orphans in substandard living conditions or being preyed upon - support an organization like Embracing Orphans that support orphans, sponsor an orphan, volunteer in another country to help orphans, provide financial support for the wall around Windsor Girls' Home.

Embracing Orphans and Windsor's Girls' Home Wall:

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Licensed Parenting

We finally got our letter from DSHS stating they have received our foster home license application and that they hope to have us licensed within 90 days. But - there could be a delay with the licensor's retirement as of April 20. No mention of how they plan to re-assign our case or contact information for someone once the licensor leaves the office. Luckily, I do have the phone number of his supervisor, but this leaves me hurt and frustrated.
The pain in my heart is overshadowing the sunshine we are experiencing amidst the winter like weather. I cannot focus on anything, but my desire to have a child. The foster care system still has many flaws. The focus of Washington State is to reunite children with their families which is ideal if those families can provide shelter, food, education and safety. There are many children in foster care who have been in state care for years, but parental rights are still not terminated while children wait for stability and a permanent home. It angers me to know there are thousands of children who need homes and we are a home needing children, but the hoops we have to jump through seem outrages while there are women out there still having children who have had them all removed from her custody.

Our lives have been exposed every aspect of our lives on paper - medical, financial, upbringing, personal, professional, educational, friendships, pets, home, spiritual - to prove we will be good parents. We still have to discuss all these aspects with the licensor and have our home inspected to make sure it complies with the foster home laws and will be a safe place for our child. Once we do all that, we then submit our paperwork to another state hoping they decide we are the ideal parents for a child legally free and waiting for a permanent home. It is during all this that I am in favor of all prospective parents (biological or adoptive) being required to attend parenting classes and receive a license prior to being allowed to have a child in the home. I know many biological parents oppose this idea, but those of us who have to go through this process in order to adopt, we would like to share the exposure.

Intellectually I understand the reasons for the scrutiny of adoptive parents, but when the heart aches for a child, intellect is overruled by emotions. My husband has found that logic is even overruled by my emotions. Getting angry at the delays of our home study are not logical as the home study will most likely be completed by the end of summer. At this time, I do not care about logic or intellect, we are dealing with matters of a mother's heart. I have a fully equipped child's room waiting for a child. I have toys, books, games, movies and music waiting for a child. I have arms aching for a child.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Frustrating Delays

Got a phone call I did not want to receive. Our contact at DSHS is retiring as of April 20 and the State does not know who will fill his spot. Our home study is delayed until the State decides if they will wait for the replacement to get up to speed or have a contract licensor do our home study. We will be lucky to start our home study in May. I was told we will only have one interview on the day of our inspection with the whole appointment lasting 3.5 hours. If any type of delay exists, it seems to happen to us. There are other foster parents who began the process with us in October, had their background checks processed in January and February and already have their licenses. So we wait nad have to be patient. I am doubting at this time we will have a child placed with us by the end of the year. Mother's Day will be difficult this year. Just hearing that strangers are pregnant upsets me. A dear friend begins fertility treatments this month. While I will be happy for her if she becomes pregnant, it will not be easy for me while I wait for my child. We have shared the tears and pain of infertility together and this is the year we hope to fulfill our dreams of becoming mothers. We continue to pray and wait. There will be more tears, more anger and more frustration to come, all with the hope that our dreams will come true.