I selected this post to be featured on my blog’s page at Dad Blogs.
This past Thursday our Foster Care caseworker called me about the possibility of fostering another kid. Unlike our infant daughter, this is a 17 year high school senior. Geez I thought to myself, yea, we wanted an older brother for Sarah, but not another father. Sarah's bio father is just about that same age.
Robert's current foster parents that he has been living with just over a year now are moving 25 miles south and out of the county. Certainly not the worst thing in the world, but clearly disruptive to a high school senior that is currently at the top of his class with a pretty decent social network of friends along with a part time job - changing all that wouldn't be ideal for any kid, especially for a foster kid.
While we are geographically closer to his high school than where Robert is living now, unfortunately we are not in that school district. My husband and I have been paying close attention to school districts these days and how they are aligned a lot more lately since adopting our little girl. It's safe to say that we don't freakin' get right it now, but we still have a few years left before we really have to worry about it. Anyway, our caseworker said that they will work out the logistical concern with the school but is not anticipating a problem. Wow, the power of a county agency - impressive! So, of course I begged the question, "So why us, Amy?"
I felt like I was in "Doc" Emmett’s DeLorean time machine from "Back to the Future" rocketing me to the early 80’s when I was a 17-year high school kid completely lost trying to find my identity. I didn't have much of a stable family life back then myself. I longed for some of form structure instead of having to be the premature adult taking care of my disabled brother and wayward mother. Luckily, I had a few close friends whose parents had taken me underneath their wings offering me some form of stability. Perhaps this is my "Pay it Forward" moment.
Since I had a pretty crummy childhood I was already willing to commit to fostering Robert. After all, we got into this program in part of helping out kids and families that need it. Joe on the other hand grew up in what we jokingly call "The bubble." His family had a well appointed home in the North Shore of Long Island with a ton of family around. Joe never longed for anything growing up, and if he needed his mother, father, brother or sister for anything at any given moment, they were there. In the rare occasion they weren't, he had his aunt, uncle, first cousin, first cousin once removed, and a host other non-relatives that were family in nurture just around the corner. He truly grew up in the proverbial village. That kind of instilled structure would be perfect for Robert, but are we ready to invite an almost adult into our fairly new family?
We set up an introductory meeting with Robert, his caseworker along with his current foster parents tonight in our home. I know Joe will be soul searching all day today while I will be cleaning up an old computer that perhaps Robert can use to search out colleges for next fall.