Gratitude in Uncertainty
We are currently in a series on uncertainty, and I was asked to write about gratitude, so I thought I would write a little bit about Kyle’s and my journey through foster care and why I am grateful for uncertainty. If you heard Dustin and Christina speak this week, I promise I didn’t steal their idea. I began writing this a while ago. If you didn’t hear them speak, you should. They have been an inspiration and such a great support for us on our foster care journey. Had I known we were going to tackle similar topics around the same time, I would have reconsidered, as they do it with much more insight and eloquence than I do. Nevertheless, here’s our story:
On May 18th, 2017, Kyle and I brought home a 2-day-old little boy from the hospital. We were uncertain about a lot of things at that point. Where will he sleep? What will he wear? We hadn’t purchased a bassinet, crib, or any clothes, as we didn’t know what age of child we would end up welcoming into our home when we signed up to be foster parents. Through our amazing network of friends and family, our needs were quickly met. Kyle’s sisters brought over all their baby equipment (much of which I had no clue what it was for), friends brought over bottles, clothes, diapers, and formula, and Imago provided us with gift cards for food and any extras we might need. Diane Lehn said something during her sermon last Sunday that really resonated with this period in our lives. She said, “When I am uncertain, I am thankful that I can recognize certainty in the people I know and trust.” While we were still uncertain that we had all the tools we needed to keep this tiny human alive, everyone assured us that we were doing great. I am incredibly grateful and still humbled by the love and support that was shown to us during this time.
What we were still uncertain about, however, was what the future held for our little guy. As many of you might know, the number one question a foster parent gets asked is: “What if you have to give them back?” Valid question and concern. Christina mentioned this on Sunday as she recalled asking herself, “How will I pick up all of the pieces?” The entire time Noah was living with us, the uncertainty of his case led me to lean into my faith. I prayed that whatever the outcome, it would be what was truly in his best interest, and that I would be at peace with it. This means accepting a decision made on behalf of the child you love even if it’s not necessarily the one you were hoping for.
On November 16th, our little boy went to live with his biological father. Having watched his own parents foster, he understood our desire to maintain a relationship with his son and has allowed us to do so since that time. For this, I am eternally grateful, just as I am for the uncertainty we experienced. Had I known what the outcome of the case would be from the beginning, I might not have made the same decision fearing the pain of separation, and I would have missed out on the greatest experience of my life. I learned what it is to be a mom; to love a tiny, drooly, snotty, poopy being so much that you will do anything to ensure their happiness, even if it means sacrificing your own.
We just signed up to do it all over again, welcoming two sweet sisters, ages 2 and 4, into our home just a little over a month ago. If there’s one thing I’m certain about at this point, it’s that the road ahead is full of uncertainty. So, I continue to lean into my faith and pray that whatever happens is what is truly in the best interest of our children, and that I will be at peace with it. As Christina said on Sunday, “It’s better to dive in, risk the hurt, and still keep living.”
Katy would like to issue a PSA that the following bio was written by her childish husband: Katy is the Director of Epidemiology and Clinical Services at the Peoria Health Department, which sounds important because it is. She currently has 1 childish husband, 2 actual children, and 3 dogs. In her free time, you'll find Katy nowhere because she has no free time thanks to all of the things listed in that previous sentence.