We officially closed our home to foster care two months ago. We didn't go on hold. We signed the paperwork and closed our home. We walked away fully convinced our lives were going to change. Mr. Amazing had applied for several jobs out of state. We wanted (and still really do want) for him to get a promotion and for us to leave Texas.
It felt weird at first. My identity changed. Now, not only was I no longer a mom to a big family of kids. But I wasn't even a foster mom anymore. I was just a plain old work-at-home, homeschooling mom. (Which, I know, still isn't that "plain". But it felt strange.)
It also felt good. No longer did I have to feel guilty for the Rx I keep tucked in the top drawer of my desk. I put a bottle of vodka in my fridge and didn't worry about it not being locked up. I knew no one was going to be calling me asking for paperwork, or a home visit, or telling me I needed another emergency training that just got added to the annual schedule.
We did need to officially close our home.
Mr. Amazing grieved the loss of Daisy. I grieved (hard) (again) the loss of Dude and Dolly. (Christmas REALLY got to me this year without them.) And the kids moved on. We came together as a family and connected as our core group of five.
But then the comments started. Bart said he never minded being a foster brother at all. TT talked about having babies around again. My heart would flip when I read about online friends and their new placements. Mr. Amazing said that even he felt we weren't done. (Herman is 17. All he talks about is basketball and welding...his two favorite parts of school. LOL)
We felt torn though. We can't foster and prepare to move out of state at the same time. Mr. Amazing has been in his job here for over 5.5 years. He has maxed out everything he can do in the job. And the US Fish & Wildlife Service does not promote someone in a way where they can stay at the same Refuge. He has to move if he wants to move up the food chain (to eventually manage his own Refuge).
The jobs Mr. Amazing applied for didn't pan out though. One by one we found out that they closed the job and opted not to hire someone at all. Or they moved someone laterally and didn't promote. Or whatever. The jobs just weren't there.
And then God basically told Mr. Amazing that no matter how much he wants to move out of Deep South Texas, he just has to get over it. God told Mr. Amazing that his job has very little to do with how he provides for our family. God told him that his job is to care for His children.
There was no burning bush or secret meeting on a mountain. Just those gut feelings that you know are right even if you don't want to hear them.
So, after some more prayer and multiple times of Mr. Amazing having to answer the question from me, "Are you SURE?!!!" we are opening our house up to foster care again.
I spent last night filling out paperwork. We do have to go through much of the original licensing process again. Rainbow, my agency's recruiter, hopes to have our license ready by January 16. She has to redo our home study, but everything really is a formality so much of the paperwork can be copied from our old file and placed into our new file. And most of the training still counts. Our home has to have a health inspection and I have to take everyone in the house to get a TB test again. But it should go quickly.
If I'm being totally honest I'd have to tell you I'm scared shitless.
Because honest...I am.
But that's for a different post.
I have NO IDEA what is going to happen. My biggest fear is that a child (or two) will come into my home that I will fall completely head-over-heels in love with and then the most-perfect-of-all-jobs will open up in Iowa for Mr. Amazing to apply for. I do hope we never have to make that choice.
For now though, it looks like we're not going to be walking around the amusement park anymore. We're climbing back on the roller coaster of foster care.
Because try as we might, once you know of the children in need, you simply can't UN-know it. And if we're not going to move out of state, we feel like we do need to do our part to help.