Emily (Executive Editor of xoJane), has been a foster parent for six months, and was recently asked to foster another child. Despite the fact that she and her partner each work full-time and don’t technically have enough time and/or space for another child, she still wanted to say yes — but ultimately had to say no:
I live in a two-bedroom apartment — in one room, my fiance and I sleep, the other is our former guest room now converted to a nursery. Because we have only this one extra bedroom, we are licensed for one foster child. Because there are so many children in need, however, foster agencies will often pressure you to take more — to cram an extra bed in a corner, to stack large sibling groups up in bunk beds.
But our current child’s room is already small — those familiar with NYC real esate might even call our apartment a 1 1/2 bedroom. Additionally we’d been foster parents for barely six months now, and to a much younger child than we anticipated. We both work full time and I already feel both stretched to capacity and barely able to figure out what I’m doing most of the time. I knew there was no way we could take another child at this point. I wanted to say yes immediately.
For weeks now, I’ve been feeling this slow and steady ache growing — the feeling that I am not doing enough, can never do enough. I know, rationally that most of us only have the time and resources to do a very little bit. But the idea that there are 16,000 foster children in NYC alone, each as unique and precious as my foster son, each needing stable, loving homes both temporary and permanent, actually hurts me when I think about it, makes it hard to breathe. I can do so, so little.
You can read more at xoJane.