I have been absent for an entire month…But I have a really good excuse. I PROMISE!
My last entry date was 1/26/15. I didn’t like how it flowed when re-reading it (for the umpteenth time) and did an hour’s worth of edits AFTER posting. That night, I asked my sweet husband to help me figure out how to upload pics larger than 2MB to the blog because almost all of my pictures are larger than 2MB. In the process, my updates from that edit session somehow went away. I was so discouraged that I decided to not re-do it that night. I’d take a break until I felt like I could do it again. That time never came.
Three days later, on a Thursday night, Shane and I went to our adoption support group. We hadn’t been there in months and were excited to be back.
Now to back up a bit, when we were in Alabama, Shane and I had this moment in my sister-in-law’s living room where I looked at him, (five kids were running around at the time, oh the premonition…) and asked, “Are we supposed to foster?” and he replied, “Yup, I think so.”
As I mentioned in my last post, we were SICK in Alabama, so we didn’t discuss it further and didn’t even mention it to family.
Shortly after we got back to Oregon from our trip, I got an email from our adoption certifier, Kem, asking if she should close out our file or if we wanted to be a resource for fostering. Shane and I hadn’t talked any more about fostering after that moment in Alabama, so I shot him a quick email to verify nothing had changed. We agreed we were game and told her to keep our file open.
So there we were, in our adoption support group. I had even brought freshly baked home made cookies. I laughingly made the comment to Kem, “Well, I had time to bake cookies, I must not be busy enough!”
HA HA HA! Famous last words.
During the class, Kem made eye contact with me and pointed a finger directly at me and mouthed, “I need to talk to you,” and pointed to the back of the room.
She asked if we could take two little boys who had just been picked up on a drug bust. They were six and two. I snuck back to my seat and wrote a note to Shane. We had the beds we needed, but they weren’t assembled. We also had company staying with us. Nothing was ready. We felt terrible — almost ashamed. Here we had said, “Yes,” but obviously hadn’t taken the need as seriously as we should have. We had to tell her no, but that if the boys still needed a home on Monday, we would take them.
That night on the way home, we started talking game plan. We “kicked out” my sweet sister-in-law, who was visiting Oregon. She graciously understood and went to stay with other relatives in town. We worked all weekend getting things ready, but were still really struggling to make it all come together. Honestly, I wasn’t terribly concerned. I seriously thought that the Lord had used that Thursday night as our wake up call, but surely, the boys would have a home and we’d take the next kiddo.
On Monday, they still needed a home. They had been placed in a home that was “over capacity.” I started freaking out. I called Shane and he came home early from work. DHS said they’d gladly let us have another day to make sure we felt it was welcoming for two frightened little kiddos.
On Tuesday, 2/3/15, two sweet little boys joined our home. They were sad, hungry, had basically no clothes or toys and the two-year-old cussed like a sailor, (when you could understand him.)
Long story short, they fit right in. Our boys loved them right away. They play well together, generally. Honestly, the brother sets squabble amongst themselves more than with each other. The “terrible two’s” have been not-so-terrible and both boys have been very easy to redirect when problem behavior has arisen. To top it off, we have even received thank you notes from both their mom and their dad for taking care of their kiddos. (For those of you who know us, and our previous experiences with fostering, this is a BRAND NEW and pleasant departure.)
I told Shane one night shortly after we got the boys that I felt complete having more kids. I had too much time on my hands and felt idle and depressed with just our two. Though we’re not really sure that we want to adopt again, we could see this fostering thing working for us! “Our house is full, our van is full, our hearts are full…”
HA HA HA! Famous last words.
Just 20 days after we went from two kids to four kids, Kem called.
“How are you guys doing?” she said.
“Good! They entertain each other and we’ve REALLY been blessed. I hate saying that I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop, because I don’t think there is one! We’re all just really doing well together!”
“(nervous laughter) Well…I’m about to drop a bomb on ya!”
“Little Miss is coming back into care.”
Our precious little foster daughter that we had for 12 ½ mos. was being removed from her home that morning. And they were heading our way. Kem knew us enough to know that regardless of having four boys and no legitimate room for her, we’d take her anyway. Because of this, she did what she could on the DHS end to make it work.
Words cannot express how I felt in that moment. I was crying, smiling, shaking and feeling so deeply sad that as I was going to be reunited with her that morning, she was being taken away from her mommy, yet again. Foster care is bittersweet. There is just not other descriptor that fits better.
We have no idea where this is headed. We may be in for another very long, scary roller coaster (and I haaaaaaate roller coasters!) The year we had her was filled with smiles and tears, laughter and crying, giggles and weeping, heartaches and hugs. There had been new words, first steps, first foods, and frustrated communication and criticism from the birth parents to us. There were endless appointments, visits and court hearings. But, oh, is she ever worth it!
All kids are.
When they brought her to our house on Monday morning, it took her only about ten minutes to warm up. She knew Nolan right away. She saw Peter’s picture and said “Pee Pih” which she was just starting to say when she left nearly eight months ago…”Peter Pickle.” She called me Mommy and Shane, Daddy within the first half hour.
So now, we truly are at full capacity! Our van has no more seats. All six chairs around our table are assigned (plus a high chair). Our rooms are all full — DHS made an exception to have a crib in our room for now since as far as we all know, the boys’ need for a home is temporary. And OH! Our hearts are full to overflowing with joy and thanksgiving to Jesus for blessing us with all these kiddos!
I looked at Shane Monday night and said, “FIVE KIDS, Shane.”
He simply replied, “Yup! Halfway there!”
HA HA HA! Famous last words?
So you be the judge. Did I have a good excuse for not posting this last month??
Blessings and much love,