Part of the human condition is to long for what we don’t have. Every season of life, we reach for the next or dwell on the past. Single people want to be married. Married couples sometimes wish they were still single. Students wish they were finished with school and out in the “real world”. Those of us working in the corporate realm sometimes long for the freedom of being back at university.
When I was in high school, everything I did was striving toward the goal of getting into West Point. I was the captain of my soccer team, president of my Girl Scout troop, an officer of the National Charity League, member of both student council and National Honor Society, as well as a straight-A student.
I was not the kid whose parents pushed them to work harder, study more and get better grades. I actually got grounded from reading. My parents insisted that I start getting Bs and Cs and that I go out and play more. They had the wisdom I did not at that age; that life is short, and if we are always straining for the next season without enjoying the present, what kind of life is that?
Now instead of feeling perpetually angry and frustrated because I dislike my job, feel unappreciated at work and am pushing 30 with no true marriage prospects in sight, I want to enjoy this season of singleness. There is so much I can do in this chapter of life where I have freedom from spousal responsibility. My parents are still in good health. I have no husband, no children and no pets. I am freer than I will ever be. The world is my oyster.
Last Sunday, I went to an information session on being certified to be a babysitter for foster kids. Did you know that foster parents can only hire certified babysitters to watch their foster children? God has placed within me a longing to build people up and inspire them to be who they were created to be. I am excited about the possibility of learning the unique passions and talents of the foster kids I babysit and then bringing a corresponding project for us to work on together.
I could bring my guitar and write songs with kids interested in music. I could bring my spare SLR camera and teach artistic kids about the light triangle and the effects of adjusting aperture settings. I could bring model airplane sets or a book of logic puzzles. The possibilities are endless. Each activity would be tailored to the needs and interests of each individual foster child.
I would love to spark to flame the inner potential of these kids so many others have overlooked. My heart longs to heal the hurting and uplift the downtrodden; to encourage those without hope and speak truth into those plagued by insecurity. God has placed within me a desire to, in the words of Frederick Buechner, help others find “the place where [their] deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”
I’m delighted with your plan. You have all the makings of a wonderful certified sitter; I know you will be a blessing to children and parents alike, and you also will be blessed. J.
We thought about doing a foster to adopt situation before we adopted our little buddy, but it was so much work and we found out that just about any little thing can derail that plan. In fact, the class we attended said that the state’s ultimate goal is to keep the child with the family, anyone in the family, before they will let the foster care family to adopt. It sounded like a heart wrenching thing that we almost couldn’t take if we lost a child we had grown close to. But on your hand, I love that idea. I really hope that you get certified and become a great person for those wonderful children.
I love that you and your wife decided to adopt. I have so much respect for you that you took that leap of faith, and I have no doubt you’ve reaped a harvest of blessing!
I won’t go into all the details about my daughter and him, (because I know you have to listen to everyone’s most personal stuff already), but needless they are both miracles in more than just the regular child is a miracle context. So we consider ourselves very blessed for having both of them. And honestly we needed them just as much as they needed us.
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wow, awesome! Good for you! Fostering has always been something that was on my heart. I am happy to hear that 1. you are taking advantage of this point in your life and 2. that someone with your talents and ability to reach people is reaching out to young people who really need it. Keep us updated on this journey if you can!
Thanks, Rach! In my experience, situations/organizations like this tend to never take advantage of volunteers (i.e. my attempts to be a Girl Scout leader; my offers to do professional baby photos for YoungLives’ pregnant teens, etc.), but I am hopeful. I’m sure I’ll have plenty of blog posts to write if this fostering opportunity does come to fruition!
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