Yesterday as I was cleaningI walked into my future foster kiddos room. Right now it’s about half-Amanda, half-kid. After I send my amazing friend Shanna on an Ikea-run it will be all-kid. In the meantime it’s filled with bits and pieces for my kiddos: stuffed animals, packages of pajamas organized by size, scarves and hats, toothbrushes and soap, Hello Kitty and Spiderman band-aids, coloring books and bubbles. These are the trappings of childhood. And in the meantime I’m waiting . . . no, not just waiting, preparing.
I ran my hand along the top of the now-assembled crib and I said a prayer for the kids who will one day be mine, even if for only a few weeks or months. I pray that God will help my home to be the safe and loving place they need, and that in me they will find someone they can trust. That even when they rail against me, they can do so being secure in my love. I imagined all the adventures we will have together–whether going to the park, traveling on vacation, or making it through a family visit. And I pray that through those adventures somehow I can help them see their own beauty and talent and intelligence and value.
And I realized . . .
I won’t just be creating a loving and safe place for them. They will be creating a better version of me. I know that I will learn so much from my unknown children. I will become a better person because of the lessons I learn as a foster parent. Lessons like patience and humility and selflessness. I’m not sure how to prepare for those lessons, but I’m ready to be schooled.