I had been married for years by the time Facebook became a thing and I was first directed to choose my relationship status. That would be a solid “married,” although I always thought that the “it’s complicated” status was kind of funny. That is, until it started applying to other areas of my life instead.
Back then, everything was pretty cut and dry. One husband, two kids, cat, dog, minivan. Bam, normalcy.
Then I started homeschooling my older daughter. The kid had an adult vocabulary at age two, taught herself to read at three, and I mean, she could count to ten and all (even in Spanish – gracias, Dora), but sadly inherited my pro-wordy/non-mathy gene. So when she started school, it was with kindergarten level math and first, some second, grade reading and writing. And of course, that’s around the time when everyone started asking, “what grade are you in?” and she would look up at me with these big, confused blue eyes like she had no concept of grade levels whatsoever, and I would stumble out, “it’s complicated.”
Then daughter number two gets a little older and starts school, and wouldn’t you know that this one loves math and looks at books like maybe they insulted her best friend. So now she does higher levels in math and grade level in English and when someone asks what grade she’s in, well, it’s just a mess. It’s complicated.
So I found myself in this swirling eddy of confusion over what I was teaching to who, never quite sure which way was up, so I did the only logical thing: I made it even crazier.
That’s a long story, and one that I’ll dive into a little later, but suffice it to say that, in the middle of the homeschooling madness, we became a foster family. Kids come and go, boys and girls, one stayed for five days, one for three years, with everyone else varying degrees of in-between, and you never know when the phone will ring and the family dynamic will go all topsy turvy again.
Have you ever ridden the teacups at Walt Disney World? You’re already spinning in circles, with your cup spinning in smaller and opposite circles, and then the joker in the cup with you grabs the wheel in the middle and yanks it off in another direction entirely, until you’re not sure where you’re headed, which way is up, or whether you’ll manage to hold onto your lunch.
“You’re not sure where you’re headed, which way is up, or whether you’ll manage to hold onto your lunch.”
This, friends, is my life. It’s complicated.
And I thrive on predictability. I like to know exactly what’s going to happen and when and how, and changing plans makes me more than a little crazy. It’s almost like foreshadowing, isn’t it? Something had to come along to knock me for a loop. And, if we’re being honest, teach me a few lessons along the way.
After several years on the foster care roller coaster, I mostly wanted to start a blog to connect with other foster parents…to share our experiences (vaguely, namelessly, of course) and support others who are existing in a parallel madness, or considering taking a leap into the unknown.
Mostly, writing is cathartic for me, and some days I just need to throw a few thoughts out there to someone who will listen. So I hope you’ll stop back by and maybe find something that you need in something that I write.
There will be funny, and there will be sad, but there will mostly be truth…this journey is complicated and not for the weak of heart, but it’s so, so worth it.
Question of the day: How many foster families do you know? Give a new blogger a thrill and answer in the comments. 😉