Dear Church Offering Me a Free Foster Parent Night Out,
My short answer is: no thank you.
My long answer is: Can we talk, friend?
I’ve gotten a lot of offers like this, both for free babysitting and other free supports like Christmas gifts. They arrive in my email inbox like glitter confetti; nice, but also relentlessly hard to remove. “Orphan Care Ministry” is a thing your members have decided is a worthy cause to support. I get it! You want to help! Helping is great! It’s why I got involved in foster care, too.
The problem is, foster families…
6. Bodmin Moor (metal band-name level doom, yes pls)
5. Mynydd Hiraethog (probably sounds good to scream outloud)
4. The desolate windswept moors at the end of The Secret Garden (1993)
3. The desolate windswept moors of Rohan that Éowyn looks over from atop Edoras, hair flying like the banners of the Rohirrim in the wind, fearful yet brave as the future thunders ever towards her
2. Those desolate windswept Wuthering Heights moors
As a foster parent and librarian, I’ve seen some shit. As we work to confront the structural racism of policing, foster care has come up as an equally broken world which actively and disproportionately harms Black and LGBTQ youth and their families. Which, no shit.
I’ve had friends ask me how they can help, how their church can get involved, or where they can donate. There are ways to get involved on the ground, but first, it’s vital to read about the past and present realities of foster care, and to listen to current and former foster youth. If you…
Foster care is the world’s slowest roller coaster in the best of times.
We can all agree these are not the best of times.
Quarantine has not — shockingly — changed this. If every court date in The Before Times seemed to dangle an ending like some kind of carrot, everything in The Terrible Now is paused, all the players in a horror film Freeze Tag, frozen until someone — the judge, the virus — tags us free. What was a slow roller coaster going for me and my husband since 2017 when our foster son arrived in our home…
It pains us deeply that, as your recently crowned Kings and Queens of Narnia, we have the duty to announce the untimely deaths of Mr. and Mrs. Beaver.
Let us explain.
In the land of Spare Oom it had been known for some time that a mysterious, deadly virus was threatening to wipe out our people, and that children were rather like spies, carrying the sickness across borders, often unknowing, but nonetheless tragically. There were admittedly countless reasons not to enter the wardrobe again once Queen Lucy discovered it was a portal to your world. Our people’s history…
I am so glad you’re here! I have been waiting for this moment all year, and it is an honor — a thrill, really — to greet you at the door with my new Earth Day décor. Now, I know what you’re thinking. ‘Target Dollar Spot, I didn’t know Earth Day décor was a thing I was supposed to be preparing my home so urgently for. Can you tell me more?’ Heck yes I can!
Wait, do you want a Starbucks real quick? They’re like, super concerned about straws now so it’s all cool. They’re right there, I’ll wait. Okay…
“It sounds so scary, to not know what’s going to happen.”
“I don’t know how you do it.”
These are things people have said to me over the years when they learn I’m a foster mother. To many, foster parenting conjures up images of babies loved and waved goodbye to (it has happened to me); becoming attached to kids who aren’t your own (yes, kids deserve open-hearted, full love); the scariness of a family future that cannot easily be planned (yes, yes, achingly, yes). As we all settle into the scariness of parenting during quarantine, I felt something akin to…
Librarian, author of HELLO LOVELIES! (Audible Originals, 2019), writer, foster mom, regular mom, cool mom.