This week’s post from my Foster Parent Diary series at the New York Times’ Motherlode blog, running every Tuesday through July.
I cleaned out my wallet this week. It was full and unorganized with receipts and notes and scraps of paper threatening to spill out each time I opened the top flap.
If there is one thing I can’t stand, it is a wallet that is full and unorganized, so I set aside a few minutes to wade through its depths and purge. I began pulling out old receipts and ticket stubs that sent me through an instant time warp, to a time before we were raising our 3-year-old foster son, BlueJay.
I found a receipt dated in early April from a grocery store in Phoenix, followed closely by three tickets to the Phoenix Zoo. Mike and I met and lived in Arizona for almost a decade before we moved back to the East Coast a couple of years ago to raise Ryan near family. We took Ryan, who is now 4 years old, back to Arizona in the spring to visit friends and reintroduce him to the state where he was born.
We considered that trip to be our last hurrah as a family of three. By that point, we knew that it wouldn’t be long before we were officially a licensed foster family and that we might get a placement almost immediately. We knew our lives were about to change and we relished the time we had left as parents of an only child.
In some ways, it feels as though life in our home has slowed to a crawl since we welcomed BlueJay into our lives nearly three months ago with only 20 hours’ notice. We were instantly consumed with connecting and learning and, some days, surviving. Days melted into nights that melted back into days as we tried, sometimes successfully and sometimes not, to adjust to our new life as a family of four.