Adoption, Children in Foster Care, Foster Parenting, Make a Difference MondaysOct. 22, 2018

Make a Difference Monday | Can I ask you something? (Part 4)

Where are you on adoption?
Honestly, we’re exactly where we were the last time you asked. The government moves at its own plodding pace; we just have to be patient (and it’s not always easy). In some ways, I think it’s been good for L. to have more time to process his adoption. In other ways, the drawn-out transition has been hard on both of us. Of course, once things are finalized, we’re going to Disney World, and that can’t happen soon enough for either of us!

When can you say what happened to him/show his face/share his full name?
I’m going to say this as tactfully as I can. If you needed to know about his past, you already would. I will share his name and face in my private social media accounts post adoption, but I will not be sharing them publicly on the blog. I will continue to guard his privacy. Like I said way back at the beginning, this blog is meant to share my story with the hope that it may encourage, inform, and inspire others on or considering this journey for themselves. It’s not the place to tell L.’s story because it’s simply not mine to tell.

How’s the boy stuff?
Sometimes, as the single mom of a boy, you have questions. Questions you can’t google. I get to have awkward conversations on the phone with my pediatrician. Of course, the doctor’s office is only open when I’m at work, so I have to try to find somewhere in my open office space to hide and quietly have that conversation. The pediatrician needs me to speak up, so she can hear me, but the closet door is pretty thin…

I’ve had to develop a good sense of humor and a great deal of humility. I have several other mom-of-boy friends that I text occasionally with thoughts like, “Help! I don’t know if boys are supposed to wear underwear under their swim trunks!”

Also, L. is responsible for cleaning his own bathroom. I just don’t feel like it should be hard to hit a target of that size. But what do I know? (Nothing. The answer is I know nothing. And that’s the problem.)

How do you do it all?
Simple answer, I don’t. The other day L. told me, “Mom, my swimming teacher says you need to take me swimming more often.”

“You know what, buddy?” I said, “It would be really great if you could go swimming more often. I know you would learn faster, and it’s lots of fun. The thing is, because we don’t have two parents in this family, I am responsible for all of the grownup things. I go to work and pay the bills and drive you to all of your appointments and cook the food and everything else. Since I can’t be in two places at once, there are only so many things I can do. I can only handle taking you swimming once a week. I’m sorry.”

As any single parent will tell you, it is very easy to get overwhelmed. I had to learn to recognize the things only I can do and prioritize them. I also learned to recognize the things that are life-giving to me.

As I type this, I’m sitting in a courthouse waiting room. Nobody else can do this for me. I need to be here to advocate for L. But while I’m in court, I’m paying someone to clean the house. I don’t prioritize cleaning my house because someone else can do it, and cleaning is not life giving to me. (Though I desperately wish it was! I’m so envious of you people who enjoy cleaning!)

What’s it like doing this without a partner?
It is the loneliest, never-alone feeling in the world. Lonely, because I bear most of this burden (physically and emotionally) by myself. When I go to my room, there’s no one with whom I can debrief and process. Never alone because when I go to my room, L. lays on the floor and talks to me under the door.

I have people who I trust and understand my situation, and I’ll text them on challenging days. Other single foster moms or adoptive moms who are further down the road are especially encouraging.

Wait, you’re going to do this again?!
As long as God keeps opening doors, yes. This is the life God called me to live, and I believe it’s the life He designed me to live. I am planning to adopt again from foster care. Because of L.’s severe issues with loss, I don’t think the cycle of kids entering and exiting our home that would come with straight foster care would be good for him, but I do think he would make a great forever brother to someone. L. and I have already started praying for the next kid. Right now, I really feel we’re being led to take an older boy as they are the least likely to get adopted. We’re going to keep praying, though, and see where God leads.

K Faith Morgan

I am a dyslexic writer, asthmatic singer, world traveler with a rotten sense of direction, and single foster mom learning how to parent by God’s grace. I am foster mom to one and aunt to quadruplets. I am a southern girl, but design is my football. I can’t follow X’s on a football field, but John Singer Sargent’s portrait of Madame X makes my heart skip a beat. I believe great design can change lives, and life is too short for beige. Free is my favorite word, clearance is my second favorite word, and sesquipedalian is my third favorite word. Learn more about my fostering journey at (un)prepared.

Check out The Forgotten Podcast for a discussion about single foster parenting with Faith and a few of her friends!

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