With a stroke of a pen

With a stroke of a pen

With a stroke of a pen, I’ll become a foster parent. Or just a parent. Or  more accurately in this case a big sister…again.

If you’ve been hanging with me the past few weeks, you’d know I’m in the middle of an expedited foster license process. I’m cramming about 4-6 months worth of work into approximately 3 weeks which is literally a full time job. I thought a Bikram Yoga 30 day challenge was a test of my mettle. It was just the warm up.

I thankfully have a small group of friends that have already done this. All of which are now adoptive or pre-adoptive parents and their children are beautiful. There’s a serious lack of good, effective, caring people willing to foster. It’s a hell of a process for those of us who decide to go through with it. With the help of those who have gone before me, I’m able to vent appropriately and get the support that I need. These past few weeks would have been impossible without my entire support system. All of you. You know who you are.

The licensing specialist I’m working with is the bomb. If you ever decide to take this leap and you’re local in SC, I’ll happily give you her name. It is absolutely fantastic to work with someone who is professional, doula-esque with her support and education, as well as a strong advocate for a parent(s) she deems worthy. I couldn’t be more grateful.

Everything had gone so smoothly up until this Thursday afternoon. We hit our first, and hopefully, only snafu. I know I can’t have any expectations when it comes to any system. I’ve only been dealing with this system for 5 months and my baby bro (aka soon-to-be foster son) has been dealing a whole lot longer. I understand his anger and frustration on a whole new level and my exposure has been much shorter. Sometimes logic and state regulations don’t match up. Especially when it comes to the emotional well-being of a child.

I’ve always wanted to be a mom from since I was a little girl. The older (and very single) I get, the easier it is to look into alternative options like this.  On my last visit with my baby bro I told him about Kali – the dark, fierce mother. She’s often misunderstand but her loyalty should never be questioned and her protection is bar none.  I’ve always resonated with Kali. I’m not just getting a foster parent license but a therapeutic treatment parent license. I’ll have more say in and be able to better advocate for any child in my care. (But there I am talking in the future. My licensing specialist keeps encouraging me to maintain my license and continue even after baby bro has left my home. My response is typically “Let me start with a young person I already know and have a relationship with first.”)

The Maha Kali that protects my house from atop the tv armoire

The Maha Kali that protects my house from atop the tv armoire

I’m not naive enough to think that it’ll all be roses. Not only is sharing your personal space tough, especially when you live alone, but every time a child has a disruption in placement, it’s like a trauma happens all over again. Like I’ve learned in training, they’ll bring not only what emotionally happened in their biological home but in every foster placement before you. Patience is key. So is love. And a little Kali-like ferocity directed toward the system when necessary will be needed too.

If you ever feel the need to ask why I would do all this for a 17 year old who’s about to age out of the system, my first response will be to introduce you to my baby bro. Second, I’d introduce you to my mom. She taught me all about opening your heart and was the perfect model of how to form a relationship with a child. Third, I’d tell you to watch this.

 

With a stroke of a pen, lives can change.

 

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Asana Junkies at City Yoga – May 31  $10

Guest Teaching – @ City Yoga 5/17 at 8:30 am, @YMCA 5/19 & 5/26 at 5:45 pm

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Comments

  1. Kristen says:

    So happy, excited, and terrified for you, because hey – sometimes these things are as terrifying as they are exciting! I am standing with you that the rest of this process goes smoothly. You will be (and are) a terrific mother/big sis/mentor for this gentleman and any other kiddo that comes afterwards!

  2. Dara,
    Congratulations! Secondly, not too much baffles me. However, why you’re STILL SINGLE does. One day a special person who sees your inner and outer beauty will come. This, I tell myself and am hopeful to live out life with that someone.
    Good for you to give yourself to the young man as foster parent. Looking back when I was his age, I really needed someone to JUST listen instead of parent. Although I’ve met you f2f once only, I know you listen very well. I look forward to reading updates on this new chapter of your life.

  3. It’s hard to find well-informed people in this particular topic, however, you seem like you know
    what you’re talking about! Thanks

Trackbacks

  1. Seva says:

    […] – a local temporary children’s shelter. Most of you know my personal experience with the foster care system so this becomes a project that’s near and dear to me. Trust me you’ll be hearing a […]

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