Foster Care Training Fiasco

Written by on 9 November, 2013 in Blog with 0 Comments

Friday night I was busy working on the computer and Shakeria wanted to have a friend over for the evening.  Sounded good to me since friends always keep her very busy and she’s having fun.  I suggested that she invite someone over for the whole day on Saturday, but first ask Pop if it was okay with him.  Then I suggested that she check out the calendar posted on the side of the frig.

On the side of our frig is a teacher’s desk size calendar with magnets stuck to the back to hold it in place, and then we write down every appointment that comes along on the calendar.  I can’t say that we never miss anything, but we really do fairly well with this organization scheme.

Shakeria stumbled back over to me and with a look of devastation asked, “Am I going into foster care?”  I knew immediately that Charlie and I had foster care training the next day in Battle Creek, and that they were having daycare for the younger children and I signed Shakeria up to go with us.  I was sure that she’d get to do some playing.  I couldn’t image what I’d written on the calendar, so there it was boldly on the calendar, “8:30 – 4:15 foster care w/Shakeria.”

Over four years is the length of time that Shakeria has been part of our family, and still she questioned if we were letting her go.  I felt horrible.  I knew that she felt worse.  Charlie and I mulled over whether to even take her with us or not, but decided that even with this looming it would probably be more fun around other kids.  It was not.  All day long, I’d walk down and check on her, and she looked shell shocked.  It was heart wrenching.

We’ve had a number of talks since then about her importance to our family, but I also know that talk is cheap.  This afternoon, we had to attend her school for parent/teacher conferences, and she’s doing better than ever in school.  We are very proud of her, and she is very proud of herself.  I don’t want her to question her importance to our family based upon external achievements, but I don’t want to minimize her efforts either.  It’s tough being a parents; I don’t remember having these types of issues when my bio daughter was in school, and maybe I didn’t concern myself, or I was just too young to care.  I probably made assumptions that were incorrect.

Over the years, I’ve evolved.  I like it, but it makes life far more complicated.

And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.  Ezekiel 36:26 NLT

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