11.01.2014

Being a Disappointment

A few days ago we hit our six month mark of being foster parents. Half a year has been spent sharing our home with three children that sometimes make me crazy. And sometimes make me cry. And sometimes make me smile. And sometimes make me laugh. My gut from the beginning of this placement was that we would have these kids until the fall. I was sure they'd be gone before Thanksgiving. Especially with the news of them being moved. But from day to day, things change, and we came across a huge hold-up in the case, making it look as if they'll be here at least through the new year. So here we sit with a shift of thinking and a few children Christmas lists.
 
But after a solid six months, and quite possibly another six more, I reflect on what has been said, and what has been written and how we feel about where we are.
 
You see, one of the more difficult parts, for me, of being a foster parent is telling people that I am a foster parent. Many people give praise. Many people seem to think that it takes a completely awesome person to be a foster parent. But I've never thought of it that way. To be honest, before we made the decision to become foster parents, I don't know if I'd ever thought about them at all. But now that I am one of them, being thought of as this selfless, amazing person just doesn't seem to fit. I don't feel like that. Because I am not one. How can someone say to your face that they think 'it's just awesome what you are doing', when all you can think about is when it will be over. I'm so uncomfortable with people thinking I'm 'neat' when I feel completely selfish and na├»ve.
 
I've never really hidden my feelings on this situation. Obviously. Friends and family always ask how things are going, and I never sugarcoat it. They hear the good and the bad. {Yes, there is good...and if I'd write more often, you'd probably hear more about it.} What I've come to realize is that when you are blatantly honest with people, they begin to see the person you really are. The person you didn't even realize that you were. As I explained, I'm highly uncomfortable being thought of as a saint. Yet, being thought of as a disappointment is a hard pill to swallow.
 
When we announced to close friends and family that we were taking the leap into foster care, they were all quite supportive and seemed to think that we would make great foster parents and that any child that came into our home would be 'lucky'. While I am so grateful for their support, I am so disappointed that I've disappointed them.
 
Our thoughts on parenthood in general have changed. We've really put our future family on hold. Do we have a timeline? No. But this is the part that is most disappointing. I've always wanted to be mom. And Mike, a dad. And we've talked, and dreamed and planned our lives around it. And now, we just really don't want to. Truly the only thing in my life that keeps my hope alive is how much in love I am with my five month old niece. That sweet babe makes me want to be pregnant nine months ago! But then....reality...and my face turns all sour and it makes me want to pop 10 birth control pills.
 
I know we've disappointed people with our current thoughts on parenthood. But truly, I think we've disappointed ourselves the most. Which is the biggest disappointment of all.

3 comments :

  1. I just love your honesty and I can relate to you. I think that most people don't think as much as you (or I!) do about having kids. Some have known that they always wanted kids and can't wait to start, other people I think just do it because that is the "next step". They don't really consider that it is a choice and they don't have to have children. I always imagined I'd be a mom because that's just what people did. Now I'm considering the possibility of never having children - the cognitive dissonance can be upsetting. I'm sure you will come to an answer that will make you and your husband happy.

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  2. Hi have just read your blog from start to now. I dont know you but wonder if you and Mike are too hard on youselves. Your goodness just shines thru your writing. I hope when you have time to reflect from a safe distance that you wont be so hard on yourselves.

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  3. Your honesty is brave. I'll keep you in my good thoughts.

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