After dinner it was playtime! I set up a “bead station” in the dining room where the girls and some of the boys made bead bracelets and necklaces. Most of the boys; however, chose video games and nerf guns for their entertainment. Teenager sat and talked with the house father as he is much older than all of the kids at the Children’s Home. I enjoyed watching the interactions between all of the children. Some good, some not so good, but all really great examples of how children from “hard places” deal with stress and fun during playtime. Some children get very overstimulated quite easily. Some get overly angry over very small things and still others pout. I was really happy when I saw Brother react very similar to how my son reacts to playtime stresses or disagreements. He simply would walk away and do a new activity with a different child. I saw no aggression and no pouting. He loved to call me over to “watch this!” It was fun to be the person he wanted around and it was also very encouraging to see how he enjoyed being around us and got along with each member of our family. He loved Baby Girl and followed her around trying to make her laugh for much of the night. We ate our ice-cream sundaes all together, piling on way too many marshmallows and much too much whipped cream! It was fun! Only Boy and Brother wrestled in the grass after a quick thunderstorm passed and allowed us to go outside. Brother pushed Baby Girl on the swings, rode his bike, threw the football with me and Only Boy, and at one point said to me, “Hold on, she looks lonely over there, I’m going to go play with her for a little bit.” He was referring to my Middle Girl who was riding a bike and enjoying trying it out alone on the basketball court. It was so sweet though! He just saw that she was alone and was in tune enough to know that someone who is alone might also be lonely, so he took it upon himself to go over and spend time with her. I was impressed! Teenager played some practical jokes and pranks and at one time had me convinced that I had left my windows in my truck down during the storm and that my vehicle was filled with water. He totally had me going for a second and then he broke a smile and yelled, “Gotcha!” It was really funny! His sense of humor really shined through and I could tell he likes to play tricks and have fun! At 8:00 p.m. the fun had to end though. The house parents announced it was time to go inside and get ready for bed. I quickly gathered my kiddos and started towards the front of the house. Brother followed me and said, “Do you have to go?” I said, “Yes, but we’ll come back soon, okay?” He said, “I don’t want you to leave, can I go home with you?” I hugged him, “Wouldn’t that be fun,” I said, “but, no not this time. We’ll see you again really soon.” All the kiddos walked us outside to our truck, but Teenager and Brother were the only ones who stayed at our vehicle as I loaded it up. Teenager put Baby Girl into her carseat and buckled her up. She usually totally fights getting into her carseat and won’t let anyone buckle her! She almost always screams, “I do it! I do it!” But, this time she didn’t resist and let him strap her in. I was amazed. Then, the hugs. Teenager came to me and gave me a hug saying, “see ya later,” and Brother had to hug every single member of our family at least twice. We all waved and said, “goodbye, see ya later,” as we drove away. My heart was full. We had the best time!
The day we met these boys, only a week earlier there had been a connection. Every single family member felt it. We all did. Every single family member has been on board since the moment we met these boys to at least find out a little more. We know they are children without parents. We know they are in the system and that is NOT where children belong. We know God has called our family to foster care and adoption. We know it. We know it like I know that the grass is green and the sky is blue. It is just one of the many reasons that God created me. He created me to be a mom. He created me to mother. He created me to care for those that someone else couldn’t. He created me to love unconditionally regardless of where someone comes from. He gave me a purpose and a mission and a family that feels the same way. Wow, this life is amazing! God is good! I am happy! We are blessed! Let’s see where next week takes this. We have a lot of praying to do, phone calls to make, and things to talk about.