Last Wednesday I got a call from our adoption case-worker (she's still our case-worker from when we pursued adopting a teenage girl 2 years ago, as our case hasn't yet expired.) She asked if we were interested in doing foster care for a teenage girl with some special circumstances.
I found out a little more about her and her situation and told our case-worker that I'd chat with Rob and give her a call back. Much to both of our surprises, I think, Rob and I agreed to take her in. We had just been commenting a few days earlier about how we have the extra room, and a good home that we could share with someone in the right circumstance.
We've had several situations where people lived with us in the past, and it's usually worked out well. Over the years we've had a teenage boy live with us for 8 months, Rob's sister and her two boys live with us for 8 months, my half-siblings who were 4 and 5 lived with us for 6 months and we fostered a baby for 10 days a few months ago.
The hard part is in this situation, we had no idea what her personality was like or what we'd be getting ourselves into. She was a perfect stranger outside of the few details we knew about her. And frankly, you never know what you're going to get with a 15 year-old! Nevertheless, I left work early and headed down to DHS to meet Abby. We met together with her case-worker to find out a little more about each other and I brought her home.
I can't imagine being 15 and driving in the car with a complete stranger to a strange house, with no idea of what's in store. But, that was almost a week ago, and we're not strangers anymore! She's a sweet girl and I think it's actually been a really good fit so far. The kids are enjoying having her around, and she's good with them. Personality wise she's been a joy, but the sheer nature of having a teenager around is a little over-whelming. I'm suddenly managing social calendars, appointments, friends, shopping trips, etc.
I'm trying really hard to remember what it was like to be 15, and to have as much sympathy for her in her situation that I can muster. I'm attempting to parent her the way that I would have found most helpful if I were 15 and in foster care. We'll see how it goes. Like all of the rest of the kids we've interacted with, she doesn't come with an instruction manual!
Anyway, I just wanted to let you all know our current family dynamics. I find it beautifully humorous that in spite of the fact that we're not on any sort of 'list' for foster care, we've know had 4 kids placed here in the last year. It seems like God's got a plan and is determined to work it in spite of whether or not we're on a 'list'. God is good, all the time.