Today I became a dad. A foster dad. So yes… this is an exciting day. But remember, when a child goes into foster care it is one of his/her worst days EVER.
We got the call last week that we would be getting our first placement… so I spent the weekend tidying up the house, and putting together a baby crib, while at the same time studying for my comprehensive exam. Being a foster dad is like being an “emotional band-aid” for kids. It means being there for a few hours, or for several months. It means being both a parent and an advocate. I have never been a foster dad before, or an adoptive dad, or a biological dad. My wife and I had hoped to have our first foster care placement several weeks ago… but social services takes a long time for paperwork. It is not social services’ fault… foster care is one of many services that is terribly underfunded and overworked in this country.
So, today we received our first foster placement. It is a fun (and scary) day. But also a day for me to reflect a little. June 16th, 2013 was Father’s Day. At my church, there was an awkward moment. The pastor asked men who were fathers to stand up. Several men did. Then the pastor asked men who were mentors to children to stand up. Several men stood up. But I was not able to stand up either time. I mentor college students… but, somehow I don’t think college students qualify as children. Anyway, I was one of a handful of men who remained seated. I felt out of place… even though I “wanted” to be a parent. So the church prayed for the fathers and the mentors to children who were standing… but not for me. I did not like being left out of the prayer.
But now I can finally put all the foster parenting classes and parenting worksheets that I have studied into practice. Diaper change… um… well, that technically was never on my bucket list. But I am happy to do it… for a couple days at least. However… there are a few things I knocked off my bucket list this year.
- Bucket list item, “become a foster dad”, check.
- Bucket list item, “get my masters degree”… check.
- Bucket list item, “become an adoptive dad”… working on it…
Once we knew we were getting a placement, and knew the age, we scrambled around during the weekend picking up stuff for the right age! Garage sales were our friend! Below are some of the great deals we found.
**OH, AND THANK YOU!! Why? In addition to becoming a dad for the first time, this was also my 200th post! So whether you have been around for a few weeks or several months, thanks for reading!! Follow me on Twitter here… or Follow me on Tumbler here.**