The week of May 3, I got a new boss, had two finals for my MPA coursework, had 15 relatives coming in on May 5 and 6, was preparing for my son's wedding on May 8 AND we had an oil spill in the Gulf, and disaster response is a large part of my agency's work. So there were a lot of people questioning my mental state when I decided the weekend before to drive 6 1/2 hours away to pick up Ginny and Tristan in Texas to foster them. Who in their right mind takes on one more thing?
The month before major surgery last year, I began fostering Tiger. The week of Christmas 2008 in the middle of parties and family arriving and last minute Christmas shopping, I brought Roxy in to foster. Am I a glutton for punishment? Does stress send me over the edge?
No, the point is...there is never a perfect time to foster. Every foster parent and family will tell you the same thing. All of our lives are crazy busy all of the time. But Roxy, Tiger, Tristan and Ginny did not have a choice about the circumstances they were in. It was definitely not the perfect time for them.
If you are considering being a foster, and thinking, well when I get this settled, when I have this done...you will never do it. Being a foster has nothing to do with the right timing for the foster family...it has everything to do with making time to do the right thing.
Has it been smooth sailing? Definitely not. My basenjis have not always like sharing and they love their routines. Bringing fosters into the mix definitely upsets that. There have been some loud exchanges. There has been a lot of posturing. But in the end, they've made their peace, and the fosters have had a safe, loving environment until they could be adopted.
But next to rearing my four children, fostering basenjis is the most rewarding thing I have ever done. When you see the fear and shyness turning into happiness and joy; when you see their eyes reflect trust once again; when you see a family adopt that basenji as their own...it's worth any difficult moment you might have.
I wouldn't trade all the free time in the world for the time I spend fostering. I hope you'll consider joining BRAT in this marvelous adventure. There's never been a better time.