In the last 24 hours, my family has done a 180.
We were committed to closing our foster home. We had what we felt were many good reasons for doing so, and it was decision we did not make lightly or quickly. Not fostering would leave us freer and with less responsibility. We would have more time as a family and to spend with Eli....etc, etc, etc.
Our reasons and beliefs have not changed...but our hearts did.
Scooter left us Friday....and we were sad, glad, relieved, and upset all at once. His leaving was sadder and more difficult than I ever thought it would be. We were glad that he would have permanency and the ability to be with his sister, though, and we welcomed the chance to just be the four of us for a little while.
Later that day, I confirmed with out foster care agency that we were NOT open to placements or phone calls.
I received a call anyway.
A little girl needed a place to stay. I was told that she just turned 3. I was told that they could not find an available space for her with any other open family and had begun calling "closed" families with a current home study like ours. I was told that if we said "no," that it would be okay (as far as the agency was concerned), and that she would stay in a group facility indefinitely until someone could be found.
I didn't say no.
I couldn't say no.
I asked the caseworker for some time before I gave an answer. I needed to talk to Patrick and Eli first. I was unsure of why I was undecided (when I had been so determined to say "NO").
I am not a person who has trouble with the word "no"...but the thought of a frightened little child with no place to call home when I have an empty bed in my house settled on my heart. I no longer wanted to say no.
When I talked to Patrick later, he echoed my sentiments without my needing to voice them. And while Eli was initially hesitant, he opened to the possibility (especially after we discussed his main worry - which was that she would have stinky diapers, like Scooter). He said that he really wanted to have another child to play with.
So, we called the caseworker back to see if they had been able to find another placement for this child, to verify the information we were given....and to give a "yes" answer.
So, we've done a 180...and the three of us are still surprised by it. But, we are prayerful that this is right for us and for her, and are getting ready to meet her.