Thursday, September 22, 2016

It's a mad, mad, mad world

Our first foster child, whom I will refer to as LH for privacy purposes, has now been with us for 29 days.

During those 29 days, his parents have missed two doctor's check-ups, a meeting with an orthopedic specialist about his foot, his umbilical cord falling off, the first time he opened his eyes and actually SAW what was going on around him, a pound and a half of weight gain, and his first attempts to roll onto his side. They have missed his first bath and his first diaper rash (and by golly it was a good one). They've also missed countless snuggles, bottles, burps, and kisses.

And I want to be angry at them, but I can't. Because it could've been me. But for God's grace, I could've been a teen girl having a baby I wasn't prepared for, with no support and no clue what to do. I could've been trapped in dysfunction and ignorance with no one to pull me out or show me a better way. I do not stand in judgment over this little boy's mother. I will not. But OH it makes me sad.

The worst part of it is that LH was supposed to go home tomorrow. And though I would have missed him, I was ready to say goodbye. "Go with God, little man," I would have said. "It has been my privilege to care for you."

But he's not going home.

His parents have not yet met the requirements of the State and so he will remain with us until they do. And you know the first thing that went through my mind when I found out he would be staying? It was that I can't believe how lucky I am. I can't believe how lucky I am that I have a loving husband, a supportive extended family, close friends, a place to live, and enough emotional, spiritual, and financial resources to love "one more." To bring "one more" into our already full house. I don't think LH's mother has any of those things.

So I want to be thankful for what I have. I want to make the most of what I've been given. And, I want a nap.

But in the immortal words of Warren Zevon: "I'll sleep when I'm dead."