Today a school to which I have pseudoapplied (as in, started the process, forgot about it, lost all motivation) called me. They’ve called before, so I stopped in the middle of my own admissions calls (no, I’m not an admissions counselor, wait what?) to follow up with them so they can finally check an outcome on their little list and feel good about themselves. Always a giver, that’s me.
Recruiter: Hi, I am trying to clarify my note from when we spoke before. I have a note that you went to Asbury?
Me: Yes, I completed about 1/3 of an M. Div. before I exhausted my ability to take online courses. The on campus residency requirement didn’t work well with my work schedule. So instead I went and got a master’s degree in education, but I always regretted not completing the M. Div. I liked it.
(I mean, I did like it at the time).
Recruiter: …you said you already have a master’s degree?
Me: Uh… maybe I have a problem…?
Recruiter: Why are you interested in this program? What do you want to do with this degree?
Me: Um, I enjoyed… classes… and stuff. And… learning? I think I liked the challenge of learning. I had more free time then, haha, what a world. I have some personal things that I hoped would be resolved by now, but no. But I think it was good… for me… um… learning. So I saw you were part of the CIC partnership… soooo… yeah. You know? I just wanted… learning. Stuff. Classes. I used to like classes. Studying… things.
Recruiter: Okay, when were you interested in starting? Summer or Fall?
Me: (I CAN’T COMMIT; I AM STUCK IN HELL FOREVER) Uh, I guess… Fall?
Recruiter: Okay, I think we could get you going for Fall, we’ll be in touch.
I have never actually completed an application and I don’t think I would be accepted if I did. I hung up and realized afterwards how odd it must seem to apply for a theology/ministry degree when you never, ever want to work in a church again, and are also not thrilled about ever attending one. And then I had some vague thoughts about how I wished I could blog about it but now I forget what those thoughts even were, or why they made me almost have feelings. So I am not entirely sure of the purpose of this blog now.
And I’m also suddenly realizing that “personal things” doesn’t sound like being stuck in foster care hell. It sounds like I am an alcoholic, or going through a divorce, or something else that, whether it should be or not, would be seen as representative of my own instability in regards to a theology degree.
Here is one reason for a shortage of foster parents in the church right here. Not that I agree with the concept that floats around the internet every now and then that “if everyone in the church fostered/adopted” — what a trainwreck that would be. But here is a reason:
It is not glamorous or even mildly interesting to share the reality of foster care with anyone outside of it. You can’t really say anything to anyone, so you can’t hoard Facebook likes and blog shares. There’s no potential for free money or GoFundMe campaigns so other people can finance your life decisions. The novelty and intrigue others have for your experience of foster parenting wears off within the first year, if not within the first six months, because nothing ever really happens, and if nothing happens there’s no feel good inspirational story or object lesson to benefit other people, and without benefit to themselves they tend to move on to something else that provides more instant gratification.
And even if there was a fauxspirational story you couldn’t tell it anyway, so not only is there no instant gratification for bystanders, there’s less opportunity for foster parents to brag on themselves about how they are changing the world! or addressing the orphan crisis! (the word orphan is gross, unless it’s being applied to, you know, ACTUAL ORPHANS, and even then, it still is) or being Jesus to the least of these! because when Jesus said that he was totally referring to the private adoption of healthy white infants because infants don’t have any trauma amirite? (no)
And just as the voice in my head is saying that’s too harsh and you shouldn’t say that and what if you can’t meet your own standards, another voice in my head is also saying, but I never did say anything about any ~orphan crisis~, and I never made any claims about this being about anything other than wanting to parent. I don’t want to set standards so impossible I can’t reach them, but I don’t think I have, because this has been my stance from the beginning, that I want kids and I want to be a mom. That’s about it. Right answer or not, that’s my answer. It’s probably inherently selfish.
well, that escalated quickly. I had more I was going to say but I am not. It was going to involve unicorns. Maybe it is best that I stop now.
THESTRALS WOULD HAVE BEEN A BETTER EXAMPLE, but I’m stopping now
I likely won’t be pursuing that degree.