We are recovering from a roller-coaster ride of a week for the Sharpteam. While we began it with open hands and a willingness to be stretched and challenged, we had no idea the lessons that little Patty would bring into our lives.
Our forethought was that being Emergency Foster Care Parents would require us to be flexible and ready at all times. While this is true, our first foster care experience challenged us both that there are ways that we can be and should be prepared even before we answer “Yes,” to the voice on the other end of the phone.
Our time with little Patty was truly a gift. She is beautiful and perfect and tiny and fit in the crook of an arm with such ease, that we were both instantly enchanted. We put together a makeshift changing table, we brought a bassinet into our room and then the lessons began.
The first thing we learned was that when people talk about being tired with an infant, they aren’t complaining, they are . . . making an understatement. Patty loved to sleep during the day and be awake at night. And the timing of our life shifted instantly.
And yet, there were places that couldn’t quite be shifted. We don’t have a nursery, there were trips that couldn’t be moved, and there is no way around a bout with the flu. And when the time required of us extended we both drooped, knowing that there was no way to truly be who Patty needed in these days.
We reached out to DSS in honesty and humility, admitting that our home wasn’t the best home for the beautiful little girl we both so wanted to hold on to. Three days after our adventure with Patty began we said good-bye to our little boo.
We are processing much in these days, as we consider next steps and how we might embrace better and be better and follow through in ways that are better.
In order to truly welcome a child with the kind of openness and focus we would like to have in the future, we recognize that there needs to be a space and place and time set aside and ready for the entrance of any child into our home. And we are beginning to try and understand what that looks like.
Our experience with the Malden DSS was truly exceptional. They were kind and thoughtful, and where they didn’t have answers they were truthful and helpful. Debbie was supportive and present and encouraging.
We so believe in what DSS is doing and does for children like Patty and for families all over the state. And while we are not so sure we are capable and prepared for such a daunting task, we are longing to be a part of this process of healing.