Why Foster?

The first call came last Thursday: a local number I didn’t recognize, but which I thought might be the kennel I had called that morning. In less than forty-eight hours I had to relinquish my dog to someone else’s care, and I still hadn’t confirmed who exactly that “someone else” would be. But it wasn’t the kennel; it was the Department of Child Services. And instead of relinquishing, I was being asked to take in, not a dog, but a child—an eleven-year-old white male.

It had only been two days since my foster parent support worker called to tell me she’d received the news I was fully approved, and my home was officially open to placements. It was less than four months since I submitted an online request for more information on becoming a foster parent in Knox County. Despite six weeks of classes, a home study, and lots of research, I still didn’t feel ready. And the simple fact is I wasn’t ready. I still had three long work trips ahead of me before I’d be home for more than a few days at a time.

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Self-Doubt: An Unwanted Bedfellow


For the past two days, I’ve been lying in this bed, drifting between sleep and the drowsy half-awake that comes with the flu and/or walking pneumonia, the two potential diagnoses bestowed upon me by my out-of-town nurse-for-a-mother. The nausea of yesterday has passed and today I finally managed a bit of reading – significant progress from the state I was in just 24 hours ago when even the thought of reading made my head spin and stomach churn. I still feel exhausted, and my cough (which has kept me company for two weeks now) lingers, but I feel a tiny glimmer of hope that perhaps tomorrow I’ll have the energy to do the simple everyday tasks: shower, dress, eat three meals…That is, of course, if self-doubt doesn’t take me out first.

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