When I started law school two years ago, I planned to take a break from foster care for up to a year. After all, I had a 9 and 5 year old at home, plus another 5 and half year old I picked up every weekend. Law school was going to be hard and, as a single parent, I still had to work at least a few hours each week.
I told my agency I would do respite care for other foster families and ended up busy on weekends through September and October that year. In November, God had other plans. A 4 year old I knew needed a place within two weeks. She had originally been placed with my close friend in June and moved to a family-friend of her father's in August. The second placement received a job transfer out of town, and my friend could not take her back. Soooooo, she became my 16th foster child.
Between my friend, Miss M (who became my nanny the summer before law school), and some help from my mom and dad, I made it through my first year of law school. The 4 year old became a 5 year old and moved home to her mom the day before kindergarten started last August. I got to see her again today, and she and her mom are doing great!
So, when my second year of law school started, I went back to my original plan of respite care for at least a semester. When January came, I cut law school back to half time (since I had decided I didn't really want a career change after all) and told my agency I was ready for a placement, opening for a child between 8 and 18 months. My kids wanted a baby, and I was tired of Buddy competing with a foster child too close to his age. By the end of February, I was still waiting for a placement and had opened to one or two children under the age of 3. I couldn't understand why it was taking so long.
In March, I started getting calls for newborns. I didn't see how I could take a newborn, working almost full time and going to law school half time. The only newborn I had ever taken was a sibling to a current placement at the time, and that baby was born drug addicted and screamed for days. She never slept more than 2-3 hours at a time for the three and a half months I had her. I didn't know how I could do that again.
Finally, as the end of March approached, with inspriration from another foster mom's blog site, I decided to trust God and say yes, even to a newborn. The day after Easter, I was selected as the placement for a 12 day old baby boy (BB). It turned out that Miss M was able to care for him during the day that first week (even though she normally had another job while my kids are in school), and her mother (who had just retired and come to AZ to visit her for a while) cared for him days until school was out for my other kids, and Miss M returned to me full-time for the summer. Everything fell into place. I just had to say YES and God lined up the rest.
BB is the most marvelous baby. He is now three months old, sleeps through the night, has the cutest smile and giggle, and has all of us adoring him constantly. What a tremendous blessing to our family, and all because I was willing to step out of my comfort zone and trust God!