I recently read a book called The Joy Plan, where the author encouraged readers to spend a few minutes a day dreaming. These dreams should be just that, dreams. Dreams for your life, your future, dreams involving your hopes, passions, and goals. But, absolutely no plans. Don’t put anything into action, don’t think about how it will work, don’t think about details, steps, or solutions. Just dream.
This concept basically makes my brain want to explode! I am a planner, organizer, and goal setter by nature. I can’t help it. I think in lists and organizing helps me relax. So the idea of dreaming without setting up a plan of action has been a skill I’ve had to practice.
The purpose is to allow your brain to dream and not get stuck on the details, practicalities, or realities that might stand in the way. The exercise has been scientifically proven to bring you joy. Pretty cool! So I’ve been giving it a try and I’m starting to see the benefits.
After I’m done dreaming, I’ve been taking those moments and creating a fun “what if” list of things that could be awesome. And then my list-making, plan-devising, hyper-organized brain has been trying to figure out how to implement some of these crazy things.
Author Kaia Roman is right, it has brought me joy and a new perspective on life. I’ve been living more in the realm of possibilities and found myself getting excited about what may come!
One of my dreams is to start a foster care closet in our area.
While getting licensed to foster to adopt, I realized the huge need for kids’ stuff when you’re about to have children placed in your house. With biological kids, you usually have time to acquire all. the. stuff! But when you get an emergency foster placement, you have hours (if that!) and suddenly there is a child (or children) in your home. It’s on you, the foster parent, to provide clothing, bedding, toiletries, toys, and entertainment, etc. for the children while they’re in your home.
We are getting licensed for a sibling set of up to three children, ranging in age from birth to six years old. As we get closer to licensing, it occurred to me one day that I need three more car seats, six sets of bedding, three new toothbrushes, and pajamas in so many gender-neutral, varying sizes that I stopped counting.
There are many moments along the foster to adopt process that have felt both exciting and heart stopping all at once. This realization was definitely one of them. As we prepare for this next step, it is exhausting in many ways. It takes so many resources, most of them are from your own home which is part of what makes it such a big deal and why the process can feel daunting. I want all of our energies and resources to go towards taking care of the precious little ones who come into our home and our care. It will be enough to figure out all the appointments, phone calls, paper work, and meetings that will go along with foster care.
I want to help make finding resources to care for foster kids easier. As people clear out their homes and get rid of old kids’ gear and clutter, donating it to a foster family can be a great solution. I know I get excited when I know where my donations are going.
Foster kids could be in your home for one day or many months. Depending on the age range and gender of children, you could need a wide variety of provisions for each child. Most people recommend you keep a set of pajamas, two sets of clothing, two sets of bedding for each bed, and toiletries for each child you’re licensed for. That is enough to get you to the nearest foster care closet once you get a placement.
A foster care closet has all the things you would need for the kids in your home: clothing, toys, baby gear, bedding, toiletries, etc. People can donate things and foster families come pick up what they need. When the children leave their home, they bring it back for another family to use. It’s free for the families, helps them get everything they need easily, and saves families from having to store all these things between placements.
While Collin County has a high number of foster families, there are few closets in the area. For us, the nearest one is 45 minutes away.
So, there you have it. My dream of a foster care closet! I have no idea where this foster care closet could be located. No idea where I’d find the time to help run it. No idea how to get others involved, where to find volunteers, or how to get people to donate their stuff. No idea how to organize it all, what kind of drop off or pick up schedule would need to be in place for the families. The list keeps going. Those are the practical things that begin after the dreaming. But I’m still dreaming and maybe you have some good ideas, too!
Go ahead—Try this whole dreaming thing and see what happens. I know I’ve been surprised at what I’ve come up with. And if you have any ideas for my foster care closet, let me know!!