“It sounds like you have a lot going on as a single parent, why would you want to do this?” I leaned in towards the foster care caseworker and three simple words came out of my mouth “because I can”.
This road to becoming a licensed foster care mama (to adopt) has been a very challenging one. Like anything in life that means a lot to you, that road can sometimes seem to be a little longer to get there. It’s not that single parents can not become foster parents, or pilots can’t become foster care parents, it’s just the dynamic of a single mom who is an airline pilot has never come across their eyes. How I got there wasn’t an overnight choice or an accident. It was fated that my kids and I found ourselves in Louisville that fall Saturday morning in 2016. When the voices from the speakers filled the auditorium there was no doubt my children and I were exactly where we were meant to be. We were beginning this road together as a team.
I get asked a lot why would a single mom want to foster/adopt? My heart was born that way and I can honestly say that when I started this process a little over 2 years ago I had no idea the length it would take. Then again, life has happened since I first began the process. It started with my RESPONSE to my ability for caring for another child and taking the initial steps. I’ve known I’ve wanted to adopt even before I had children. It was something that was always there. It’s always been a constant. When I was able to buy a home, that nudging feeling came back. I left my comfortable job to pursue my passion, flying. So I managed a flight school which seemed to still be a good fit to have our homestudy approved. It allowed me to stay home at night, and still be around flying, but I was still barely getting by with bills. It was after exhausting all other avenues that I finally went to the airlines. And so began the shift in delay in our homestudy. When the process was almost complete, my son came back with large bruises on him from his dads after visitation.
Training at work stopped, the homestudy process and life itself was shifted by circumstances I could not control. The safe haven I’ve worked so hard with for my children to heal and feel safe suddenly was under a microscope of us our home a good fit for a child in foster care? Will there be another visitation with my son’s dad or another incident that would not just effect my son and my girls or this foster child? It was hard to hear those words as I feel like my children are the most well adapted children out there. They’ve been in counseling for years to understand what healthy relationships look like, and not look like, they are exceedingly well behaved and thrive in school. They are good kids. Survivors and ninja warriors.
We aren’t a broken home. We’ve broken the toxicity that comes from unhealthy family dynamics.
Responsibility usually comes with some sort of weighted feeling. It sounds like not much of a fun word. Choosing wisdom over maybe a carefree life. Financial choices, volunteering choices, relationship choices, there’s a lot of choice involved with being responsible. I have responsibilities at home, mortgage, car payment, insurance, kids activities, and that’s not including the day-to-day things like providing food for the people and furry family members living in our home.
It can seem daunting. So why take on more responsibilities?
What if I asked you to rework those equations with a positive spin on it?
What is your Ability to RESPOND? What do you have to offer?
For us, for me, it means we are a family who sees the extra beds in our home and wait for them to be filled. It means my children already understand that even though they do not wear new clothing, that their life is full, complete and they have love to offer another child. It means that even in hard seasons, we still have an amazing family that can always help. We may not be the perfect family, but we are in fact a healthy one. The journey has been a long one to be approved by the State, and for anyone else with this nudge on their heart or those who have gone through this process, I wanted to let you know you are not alone. If you are a single parent in a 9-5 job or a single parent working 3rd shift, I want to let you know you are not alone. Our home is just as loving as any other home, and we will keep in our response to become licensed because we have the ability to help, we have the ABILITY to love. So love we shall. If you are fostering or going through the process I would love to hear from you. Feel free to share your story with me RESPONSEability