The world desires to have all the situations tied up with pretty bows, we like clean lines and happy endings. We seek and access to know what the risk is before we invest, charting all that could happen before we take the plunge. Control is our coping technique.
Early on, my journey into foster parenting felt out of control. Each change in our case or visit account would hit me like a wave. Tossing me to and fro as I desperately tried to find my direction. My ship was caught between the waves of finality, loss and the unknown, leaving me worn and exhausted.
Being a (foster) parent means, I must let go of the plans, control and the known. Letting go of the reigns of sensibility, embracing the unknowns for the now. I did not get into this journey to build a family but to provide a home. This world is unpredictable, happy endings look different than the story books we read as kids, choosing to be a parent is costly but totally worth it. The honor of doing life with them if even for a moment is a rare, life changing gift.
I have learned that I can’t live life as a foster parent with the lens of life being “will I get to adopt them, will they be forever in my home, will they be a Klepfer?” Instead I must live life with the lens that I have today. I have this moment with them, to impact, change and love them, today I am Mom.
As humans we strive for order, justice and control, foster care has taught me just how different those things look. Each case has a team of people around it simultaneously fighting for rights, safety, laws and contingency plans. The timelines, plans and actions don’t always make sense but the result of foster care is always bittersweet. When a case comes to an end either through termination of parental rights and adoption or through reunification of a biological family the story changes a loss happens.
In this past month I have signed papers for the next official and forever Klepfer, said goodbye to one after 10 months of shared life back to his mom and sent another forth another to his happily ever after with his Aunt who will keep his biological family intact. There is no promise how the story ends but we can’t let the ending, change the process.
These last 4 years have taught me many things, what love is, that broken hearts mend and no matter how often I think there isn’t enough, there always is. I have been humbled, changed and challenged to my core. My perspective has shifted through the rhythm of loving well and letting go.