The question caught me off guard as I sprinted between midday errands, and I answered too quickly.
“Knowing what you know now, would you still become a foster parent?” a friend asked.
“No way!” I said.
It wasn’t true. I knew this as soon as the words left my mouth. I knew it even more later that day when I sat at my dining room table and looked around at the amazing people gathered there for dinner.
I am lucky to be able to be a foster parent. I’m lucky to hang out with some of the bravest people I know. We give them our time, our love, a little advice, a lot of food and a warm bed.
They give us so much more.
Knowing what I do now, I’d be a foster parent again in a heartbeat. In fact, if you want to feel your own heart beat, foster parenting is the place to be.
Your heart will come crashing against your rib cage with admiration as you watch a fearful little guy stick his chest out and sing with joy when you know how resolute he was that choir concerts were not for him.
Your heart will ache when you realize that you can’t fix everything and that, even though that is your inclination, it isn’t your job.
It will grow when you rock a sleepy little friend and he reaches for your hand.
It will melt in the wake of a fierce outburst when you look into an exhausted pair of eyes and understand how much that young person wishes he could control his temper.
It will leap when you see a young man who has danced through incredible obstacles hold his high school diploma in hand.
It will pound as you sprint after a little runner who is headed for the street.
It will break for every single circumstance that landed them in your care.
Knowing what I know now, would I still become a foster parent? For sure.
I just would have been a better one from the start.