This is a post I've wanted to write for some time. I was recently talking to an amazing mom that also is a foster mom. We were talking about some of the struggles of foster care and adoption and how hard it is to be honest with people about the hard times because of the judgement that we either face as parents who "chose" this path or the fear judgement that we may or may not meet.
As a new mom to twins. One who was a difficult newborn between gastrointestinal issues and reflux and the other having special needs, things were challenging. Elias was also finishing up the semester at school so I had to go back to work early. It was really, really hard. But we also chose this. We knew going into that this would be the case, we knew that it wouldn't be easy, though I don't think you can ever really understand how hard it is until you are in it.
There were many times where I didn't feel like I could really be honest about how hard it was. I didn't want to sound like I was complaining. I was so incredibly grateful for this gift, but choosing this and being grateful didn't magically take away the hard.
I remember in the throws of infertility when people would complain about pregnancy and sleepless nights, being frustrated because I was willing to take on any of that. I can see now that was my pain speaking and people don't have to enjoy every minute pregnancy to be thankful for their child and they don't have to enjoy every minute of the newborn stage that goes so quickly, but can also be really difficult, to be fully in love with their baby.
There was this crazy part of me that thought that because I waited so long to become a mom that the sleepless nights would somehow be easier and that I would have this super human ability to just power through. I had no idea what it was like to be truly tired and I also had no idea what impact sleep deprivation could have on a person from their mood to forgetfulness and beyond. I was wrong. Waiting longer for a child does not make sleeplessness easier. Lack of sleep is lack of sleep. It's hard either way.
Foster parenting goes another step. Foster parents understand going into foster care that things won't always be easy. In fact there might be more hard times than easy times. But that doesn't mean that foster parents aren't allowed to feel emotions. They are allowed to feel overwhelmed, they are allowed to say that it's hard. They need your love and support. They need people who are willing to step in and help or listen without judgement.
We choose this path. In our case, we felt like this was the path God was calling us to walk down and I know many adoptive and foster parents who also feel this way. We chose to say yes to his plan. That doesn't mean that parenting has always been easy and it won't always be easy, but I would do it all over again.