We started our training last week. It’s a lot of training. So much that I only like to look at it one week at a time as not to get overwhelmed.
Basically, there are about 15 different training sessions you have to go to- most are 3 hours long, one is 8 and I think one is 4 or 5. This month they are offered on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6-8.
The trainings are in south Arlington so for us that means leaving at 5:00- dropping C off with a friend, picking up dinner or taking it along- and driving an hour in rush hour to the training. The drive home is faster but it still puts us back much past Cason’s bed time. To be honest it’s exhausting- not counting the part where we sit in class for 3 hours. The last two weeks have been class tues/thurs, church wed, something at church friday and saturday, church sunday and start again on monday. Cason finally lost it on Saturday night on our way to dinner. We are taking a break this week on the trainings to regroup because on Saturday we have an 8 hour class.
So far we have been to: Child Development, Communication, Separation Loss and Grief, and Sexual Abuse. We are usually in class with a few other couples and it’s a casual talk and very open for asking questions or exploring topics. It’s interesting but at the same time very dry- sitting anywhere for 3 hours is hard for me to do. The grief class and abuse class were heavy. We knew that when a child has been placed in foster care it is likely they have some baggage; but when you really sit down and learn about what some of these children go through, it will break your heart. But it reminded me why we are doing this in the first place.
We also learned that when you have foster children that licensing can stop by any time and inspect your house. So imagine your worst day as a parent- it’s 3:00 and everyone is still in their pj’s… including you, laundry is everywhere, dishes are in the sink, everyone is in a bad mood, you park the kids in front of the tv so you can get a break, the house is cluttered with toys and there might be some silverware from the kitchen and tools from the garage mixed in there somewhere too- and there’s a knock at the door and it’s someone wanting to come into the house to see if you are meeting all the standards for a foster home. Now they understand that life happens- so dishes and toys and pj’s shouldn’t really make a difference. But that’s the kind of day you don’t even want your friends to come over, having a stranger judging you as a parent… that’s hard.
And that’s where praying comes in. We knew this would be a giant leap of faith when we started. That we had to fully rely on God to provide our strength and wisdom and patience and peace. He would remove our worry and make ready our path. Finishing the training isn’t going to be the hardest part of our journey, in fact, it’s probably the easy part. Most people have 9 months to prepare for a child coming into their home, I always wondered what it would be like to have a child dropped off one day without that 9 months of mental and physical preparation. God is providing that preparation for us now. These 50 or so hours of training are allowing us to mentally and physically get ready. Most importantly they are allowing us to spiritually get ready. The Lord is teaching us to give it all to him NOW- the training, the scheduling, the fears, the uncertainties, the frustrations- none of it matters because we are doing what God has asked us to do. He will take care of it all.
I have come to love this verse- it is on the wall of our training room:
Children are a gift of the Lord, like arrows in the hand of a warrior - Psalm 127