Mike and Matthew are off to Georgia to get the boat survey done. This is an 8 hour survey where the surveyor inspects the boat inside and out, topside and downside. This will give an overview of any problems there may be. Although we have no concerns, this is something that an insurance carrier will require, so it is highly recommended. I’m hoping that Mike will take a lot of pictures and we can get them posted.
I said I would go into a little more detail on how having foster children is affecting our transition and plans. I’ll give just a brief history of our foster care life and then go into what our transition looks like.
We began foster care initially as a means of and growing our family. Matthew was/ is desperate for siblings closer to his age and we felt led to explore foster care. We hadn’t thought foster care was something we could do effectively just for the sake of being foster parents. I realize that isn’t really clear- but all of the cliché reasons for NOT doing it, were the ones we were scared of. Becoming attached, letting them go, difficult behaviors and circumstances were all reasons we were afraid. Now, having done this for the last 6 or so years, we have dealt with each of these circumstances and survived. We have set aside adoption as a goal and have just been parents and a family to a hand full of children that needed us. We are so far from the perfect family, but what we can offer is stability, love, direction and structure. When these kids leave us we hope they remember that for a while we provided that and that we will love them forever and that Jesus loves them even more than we do.
As our time of transition has approached, I have had some intense anxiety. This has been like a separation anxiety. Separation from our patients at the clinic and separation from our 2 remaining foster children. K1 and K2 have been with us off and on for a little over 2 years. K2 has been with us this time for 1 year straight, while his brother came back a little later. To say we are attached is putting it mildly. I can truly say I love these 2 as my own and the thought of them going to some unknown family was just about more than I could bear. When they were with us the first time for 6 months, we also had a friend staying with us while she moved back to the area. She lived with us for almost exactly the same amount of time as these precious boys. Therefore, she has known them essentially as long as we have. As time is drawing nearer for our move into our camper and the end of the school year, I had laid it all out to God, that I needed reassurance that my boys would be somewhere safe and where we could still be involved. I had it in the back of mind and etched on my heart that this friend would do it. I couldn’t see how, though. She is in the middle of a business deal and the timing is less than perfect. There is also the fact that she is single and without a husband I was afraid it might be too overwhelming. Not that I doubt her ability, but that it just makes life with children easier with a helpmate. So, I hadn’t mentioned it to her. I kept praying and waiting for the Lord to reveal His plan. Then, while talking over pizza at Chuck e Cheese’s at K3’s going away shindig (he transitioned to his adoptive family) this friend confided that she has had it on her heart to go through the PRIDE classes and become a foster parent, thus being available to take our boys. This was a Saturday evening. I promptly texted and emailed our social worker and program director at LSS and had replies immediately that this was a completely doable plan. (LSS has the absolutely best program and I could rave about them for paragraphs.) The relief I’ve had since is indescribable. We know that she can provide a great home and so much love. Mike can still love and guide them as only a father to young boys can. We can still love on them and follow them as they grow as long as they can be with her. This does our hearts so much good.
This is where we are at in transition. We leave on the 3rd to close on our boat (still unnamed) and crew on Mambo and our friend, Megan and Jon will provide the respite. Moving to her house will happen as soon as she is licensed and school is out and soccer finished. We plan to move to the 5th wheel the weekend of June 15th, so this will all happen before then. Matthew has been pretty sad having K3 move to his forever family and now K1 and K2 moving, too. However, knowing they will be so close and we will still have our family get togethers with them helps so much.
I will update as Mike shares the progress of the survey and shares any photos he gets. If you are so inclined, we welcome prayers as we go through this journey.