It probably started last October, but I’m aware it began before I was born. But last October, my kids told me they missed fostering, wanted to bring on more kids. I shelved the idea. The work was too hard, too traumatic. The cost too great. We’d just become comfortable. A new home- the one I always dreamed of, the one I prayed about, was ours. Life was simple and easy. And my heart was restless. A seemingly perfect life wasn’t enough, and my babies? They are givers.

 

So I began to pray, to ask God/the Universe/my Higher Self the hard questions. I laid out my life, and I asked to be shown the why of my being, the reason I’m here. I asked to clearly see how I can serve, where I was needed. And most importantly, how I could do it within the context of my family and still maintain peace and joy. I never wanted to go to the lost place I’d been in 2012, when everything was at stake and the loss of my mind was a real possibility.

 

The path began to illuminate itself. It was clear that serving children is at the core of who I am. Each child that comes to me is a broken puzzle, waiting for me to reassemble the pieces into something whole and picturesque. Full time foster care seemed like too much, so respite care was an easy answer. And then our agency talked about how easy it was to relicense us, and all this would mean is we weren’t limited to having kids under 72 hours. So we moved forward, did the work, had a family meeting, and waited. We’d agreed to do respite, and maybe take one boy, depending on the circumstances.

 

Our Lady began to show up, our agency looked like maybe they were falling apart, and during the wait, we revisited options. We found out about some programs that Catholic Charities offers that we didn’t know existed. Ones that look like a great fit for our family, that serve kids from Central America who are here with no family and need a home and a country. Seeing Our Lady around all the time started to make sense. We made calls. We felt good about our forward progress, and I felt good about following the crumbs, the little blinks of light that lead our way.

 

Now we’re here at the end, the part where we sit and patiently wait for the kids that need us, and we are undecided. Our fresh crisp licensure arrived today. The last thing a foster parent wants to do is go have some more training and wait more time before they can take a placement, but what if leaving with your freshly pressed license feels like the right thing to do? As of now, we are going forward with the specialized training required to work with the Catholic Charities program so that they will allow us to do respite for them. I don’t really have a reason other than it feels like the right thing to do, the way for me to serve in the best way for myself and my family. There are a lot of reasons why it’s right, and a lot of reasons I keep thinking the Devil you know is better than the one you don’t.

 

There’s been so much in my life lately that has guided me to let go of things, to move on. So much loss and so much freedom. So much guidance and so many blessings. See, what I learned from the first time around, from Sugar Biscuit and the Brothers, and the people around me, is that sometimes taking a leap, on nothing more than a gut feeling, is the absolute right thing to do. I’m Gretel, lost in the woods, but I don’t expect to find an evil witch in a candy house at the end of my road. I expect I’ll find my next best thing, maybe even my Nirvana.