I had the worst nightmare ever.
Because it was based off an actual day in my past, it felt so real. In fact, everything was exactly the same.
Seated on my son’s bedroom floor, I danced and sang, toweling down my freshly washed little boy. My husband was in the other room, draining the tub. Everything was familiar.
Except one thing.
My phone wasn’t in my lap. It was in the other room. So far away that I didn’t hear it ringing. My sleeping self screamed at my dream self to answer the phone. But, she wasn’t listening.
So, I missed the call.
I know, I know… this doesn’t sound like much of a nightmare. People miss phone calls all the time. But, this wasn’t just any call.
It was the call.
The call that came in the middle of this everyday routine. The one with a familiar voice on the other end saying, “we have a newborn baby who needs a home.”
The call that changed everything.
When I woke up, that nightmare was all I could think about. If I’d missed that call, it would have been too late. My beautiful, perfect, adorable baby boy would have gone somewhere else.
Of course, I know the truth. He was meant for me. Even before it was formed, our family was his. He’s the perfect fit. The missing piece.
But still. What if I’d missed that call?
When you’re a foster parent, a single phone call can change your life forever.
When the phone rings, you jump. You run to answer it – frantic, hopeful, scared. And when you see that name on your screen (in my case, our agency name in all caps followed by 16 exclamation marks), your heart stops.
Because, that call could mean anything.
It could mean a new friend will join your family. Maybe for a week, a month, a year. Sometimes, an hour. Sometimes, forever.
It could mean the beginning of a very valuable relationship with a biological family. An opportunity to bridge, to inspire and teach, to mentor. A chance to rebuild a hurting, broken family.
It could mean you’ll get to experience the moment a child you love reunifies with her mother.
Sometimes, it could even mean your family will grow permanently.
But no matter the path, that call will always represent the priceless gift of providing safety and love to a helpless stranger.
Every time we get the call, I see flashes of what’s guaranteed to follow… struggle, strength, grit, trial, questions, tears, hugs, doctor’s appointments, paperwork, meetings, more paperwork…
..and lives changed on all sides of the relationship.
While I’m forever thankful for the call that gave me my son, I’m also grateful for every call before and after. Because, while being a foster parent isn’t easy, it certainly is a blessing.
So, will you answer the call?
If you’re interested in learning more about fostering, please reach out. I’ll always give you the full story – from the horrible to the fantastic. Let’s grab coffee and get started.