If you saw my Facebook page this morning you would have seen this message:
“Still feeling a bit bummed about having said “no” to a placement last night. The rainy weather necessitating the donning of a sweatshirt in JULY is not helping with the mood.”
It was going to be longer, but then I remembered that pet peeve of mine. The one where people post really long status updates to their FB pages and I have to click ‘more’ to see it, then ‘more’ again to open a new window and read the rest. Yup, that is what this morning’s posting was turning into. So I came over to the blog to share the rest.
It was also turning into a whine fest. I was dwelling in the past, regretting the decision I had made, even though it was probably the right one. It is not often I second guess my answer to the calls from our agency. I even called my mother to make sure I was not being completely self centered. Of course, once I got a hold of her I remembered that it is a lot of because of her and Dad’s willingness to help others that I am in this predicament in the first place. Maybe she wasn’t the best person to talk to. But she listened and pointed out a few things I had not thought through.
You see, the child needing a home, and they needed it last night, was our ideal age, but it would have only been for a few days (while the pre-arranged foster family got some things straightened out, minor details and all that bureaucracy). This all sounds easy enough at first, and I really was torn. But upon further thought I knew what would come after the night.
- There would be days where it would have made life not ideal, schedule wise – a trip out of state all day Saturday, watching a friend’s kid 4 days next week, an OT appointment Monday, therapy appointment Monday, doctor appointment Wednesday, and a car that can only hold 3 kids.
- We are leaving for an out of state vacation at the end of next week. We could have rented a larger vehicle to drive, but not sure they would have approved us taking the child. (This one would not have kept me from saying ‘yes’, but it is something to keep in mind.)
- Our house still has the smell of a paint can (from the new insulation).
- Our extra bedroom has no ceiling, no door, and no furniture in there at the moment. Well, that is not completely true. There is a dresser covered with a plastic sheet, and the light fixtures are on a built-in shelf. 🙂
- Due to the age of the child, they could have either shared our room or (if the right gender) the boys’ room. That would have worked if the child was a decent sleeper and not withdrawing or dealing with drug exposure. I did not get that far into my questions to ask. I was still stuck on logistics when I gave my answer.
- Most of my items for a kid this age are either toward the back of our, now stuffed full, closet or are things I would have had to call around and borrow. After being a part of MOPS for the past several years, I knew exactly who to call to help find things. So again, this could have been done, but it would have left less time to pick up the house and prepare it for such a little one. Or, if needed, to actually go to the hospital and pick them up.
Normally I would have said yes, after all, it is only a few days. I mean, we can pretty much stand almost anything for a few days. It was very hard, and I felt my stomach drop, when I felt like I should say ‘no’. It was so tempting to call back and second guess myself that I put the phone down. If I started out by second guessing myself, that is exactly how the whole thing would have gone, me second guessing myself about second guessing myself. That is a dangerous hole to fall into.
After getting up this morning I realized that I had forgotten to tell the person something I have said before, “We can’t commit to anything long term, but if you need someone for the night or the weekend, we can do that.” Not sure why I did not say that last night. Perhaps someone else, the next person on the list even, was meant to be called?
Even though we could have figured out things for a few days, with a new placement comes additional appointments an visits. If they were looking for a longer term we would have been willing to completely disrupt life right now and add a new stress. This really was that good of a call, fitting to a ‘T’ what would have worked for us right now. We have never had such a (seemingly) perfect call such as this and I am not sure if we ever will again. Though this is the second call this week, so who knows.
The first call this week, while technically in our range, was obviously more than we had room for right now. I had no regret or second guessing about that call, though I do wonder if they were able to keep the kids together. Maybe because I was already aware of the reasons that placement would not work, and had told myself those reasons were automatic no’s, it did not bother me after I hung up. Like I said, the call last night was the ‘perfect’ call, but not at the ‘perfect’ time.
I keep telling myself it was the right answer. Then my husband, when I tell him about the call this morning, gives me the look of “why did you say ‘no’?” Making me question myself and having to remind him again that for such a short term placement, it is not worth it . Stressing out about how we could get everything done, dealing with behaviors from our kidos due to going to a new place AND having a new person in the house, finding drywall contractors, putting the house back in a somewhat orderly fashion … who knows what else might come up. If we were looking at a longer term placement, then it would be worth it, because I know that in two weeks life will be calmer than it is going to be in the next four days. In two weeks, baring unforeseen events, if we were to get a call such as last night, then I for sure would say “yes!”
My Mother, in her infinite wisdom, which I will be quoting back to her at some point in the future, reminded me what I have already told myself, “You can not help out everyone all the time.” My reply, “I know … but… but it was the perfect call!” 🙂 She knows her daughter well enough to remind me that the house will be finished soon enough, then we can invite more chaos into our lives. And to think at one point I wanted to get a job working out in the woods, not seeing anyone for a week or more at a time. This life is so far from that one, you would not even think I was the same person. God must have known that a life of solitude such as that would not have been good for me.
Last year we said ‘yes’ to a call, while driving back home from vacation. I’m starting to feel that there is a connection here … maybe we should start taking vacations at different times in the year.