Exactly six months ago today we were “waiting,” waiting for foster children. We had been licensed foster parents for a little over a month and a half and the waiting was killing me. I would carry my cell phone around with me and check it obsessively for missed calls. I just knew I was going to miss that very first all important call asking us to take children, but I didn’t! That day six months ago started out pretty normal. I went to my daughter’s school to volunteer, got some lunch, and ran some errands. It was a Wednesday, so I was also getting my lesson plans ready to teach the kindergarteners that night at church. When the time came to pick up my three kiddos and one extra friend from school, I got in the van and took off for the first school. I was happy to see the kids and asked them about their days. The first stop light we arrived at was a red light and my cell phone began to ring. I looked down to see the name of our social worker pop up on the screen of my phone. I wasn’t even excited yet. I figured it was just another routine call to ask for some new piece of paperwork needed for our file or to ask us a question about something in our file. I had no inclination that this would be THE CALL! I answered my phone. “Hello,” I said and heard the voice of our social worker on the other end of the line. “Hi,” she said, “I just received a call from DHR and they have two children they are picking up right now that they are looking for a home for; the only information I have is that there is a three year old little boy and a seven month old little girl.” My heart skipped a beat! “Let me call my husband,” I said. Needless to say that call went VERY fast and he said, “Let’s go for it!” I made my return call and found out that the social worker from DHR would call me in a few hours to set up a time to drop the kids off that night. WOW! Now, my heart was really racing! I got the kids home, picked up my cell phone again and made a call to a friend who could cover for me at church, teaching that night. We then started to get things ready at the house.
I changed the sheets on the extra “big boy” bed in my son’s room and put clean crib sheets on the crib in my room. I washed some dishes, called my husband and asked him to pick up a few baby items at the store on his way home and donuts! I don’t know where we had heard it, but someone told us that donuts were the official love language of food, so we HAD to have these! Then, we waited. It wasn’t until 9:00 pm that night that a strange car pulled into our driveway. We had all been taking turns standing at the window and watching for “the babies” to arrive, so when the car entered the drive, we were all jumping around with excitement. My husband and I asked our big kids to go to their rooms for a while in order for Mommy and Daddy to talk to the adults and so that we didn’t overwhelm the babies when they first came into our home. I was so afraid that they would be scared of us! I had been praying continually since that very first call earlier in the day that God would give the babies a sense of peace and calmness as they entered our home. I knew this day had probably already been very traumatic for them and I wanted to make the rest of it as easy as possible on them.
We opened our front door and my husband and I walked to the car to help unload the babies and the bags of things that DHR had bought for them that day. Both of the babies were asleep in their carseats. My husband carried Baby Girl inside and one of the workers carried in Little Man. I grabbed diapers, wipes, and formula and we all headed inside. We talked a short while about what would take place in the next couple of days. There would be a 72 hour court hearing and we wouldn’t know a lot more until after that had taken place. We were told that a worker would pick the babies up at 7:00 am on Friday morning to take them to court. I then asked if we should wake the babies up before they left, so they knew they were in a different place and we all agreed that would be a good idea. My husband took Baby Girl out of her carseat carrier and held her in his arms. She was so incredibly tiny and petite. I took Little Man out of his seat and started to talk to him. He let out the beginning of a cry and I immediately carried him into the kitchen to open the donuts. BEST ADVICE EVER! Not only did he enjoy the donuts, but I think he was quite hungry, he barely chewed and shoved as many donut holes into his mouth as he could. We quickly learned that we would have to portion things out for Little Man and watch him closely, so that he wouldn’t choke himself. I looked over at my husband now. He was gently swaying back and forth with Baby Girl. It was such a tender moment. She was so tiny and helpless and he is so big and strong, yet so incredibly gentle and loving. It’s in moments like that one that I fall more deeply in love with the man that I married.
The workers said goodbye and left. Then the giggles and whispers from our big kids could be heard coming from the back bedroom and we knew they were excitedly waiting to meet the babies. We walked back to our oldest daughter’s room where they were all waiting and opened the door. They all squealed! The meet and greet went very well! Kids just seem to have a way with other kids, it’s like instant friendship! They all were so excited to see and play with each other. Settling down was hard that night and we were all up pretty late, but we were together. The waiting was over. We were together, a family. And we knew that we would be there for these two precious ones for as long as they needed us.