Fitting In (or not)

>> Monday, January 22, 2007

As you can tell by my "About Me" section, I am a foster mom. A very fulfilled foster mom. I love what I do!! It's definitely not for everyone, it takes a different mindset. I'm not even sure how I got this mindset. I can't explain what it is I love about it, it's just part of who I am. I've had 28 kids within the past 3 years. Whew! I'm tired but can't imagine giving it up. I can imagine a nice long nap but I dread the day I have to say goodbye to my last child. Maybe you can even dare say I'm addicted to it. I guess its my proverbial "calling" in life.

I am most comfortable when talking to other foster parents (well, good ones that is). The issues of foster parenting are like no others...even different than that of adopting. It is not uncommon for us to talk about going from a family of 4 to a family of 6 in a matter of an hour or so. Shopping for clothes at midnight because the child only came with the clothes on their back. Coming up with names to call your child because you either don't know how to pronounce their name or don't know it at all. And ALWAYS, ALWAYS where to find a good buy on a bigger vehicle!!
These topics don't normally come up in your average everyday conversation. And yet these words come as natural to me as white on rice. But I forget that this is uncommon conversation. I slip and start talking freely about crack cocaine as if I was talking about McDonald's french fries. I mention that we don't know what race the child is or how they stayed awake all night after a visit with their mama. I think it might turn people off when all they want to talk about is their plans for spring break.

I just got back home tonight from picking my daughter up from ballet. She takes classes at a very well respected dance studio near the downtown area. Most of the people who attend this academy have a very different lifestyle than we do! We had our new baby with us tonight. Well actually we had all 6 kids with us tonight. I feel the shaking of their heads when I turn my back. I feel the wagging of their tongues when I walk down the hall. I know my family is different. They tease me and I know there's truth behind their words. I know our lifestyle is not one they would choose. That's ok. I wouldn't live my life any other way. But part of my mind flashes back to high school where the cool kids are standing by their lockers and looking me up one side and down the other, sizing me up. I never sized up well. I never really fit in with the cool kids. I REALLY wouldn't fit in now...not even with the nerdy kids. I live in a whole different world now. There's a part of my soul that still wants to be accepted. I still want to fit in. There's a price to pay when you follow your calling I guess. It's refreshing to know there are some people out there who are wacky enough to know and understand my mind set. They are few and far between and I praise God for their support. But wouldn't it be nice if we lived in a world where we could follow our calling AND fit in???


jen January 24, 2007 at 4:14 AM  

I think what you do is nothing short of AMAZING :) I could never do what you are doing; saving little lives. I especially couldn't get them all cleaned up and healthy again and then give them back. You are truly gifted in this domain. If you see those other moms looking at you strangely, it is most likely they too are amazed at your skill and fortitude to care for all these multifaceted children. They are probably jealous that their materialistically filled lives are so devoid spiritually. Good opportunity to share how it is you so amazingly manage :)

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