Picking up The Twins

The day I went to pick up The Twins was so cold and rainy.  The weather was just bad that day.  Baby Girl and I loaded up in the truck, put the address I was given into the GPS and headed out.  First, we went to their previous foster home to pick up their belongings and then we followed their social worker to the daycare they had attended since entering foster care just one month prior.  The social worker unloaded the carseats, handed them to me and went inside to get The Twins.  I loaded the much too large and completely inappropriate (for three year olds) booster seats into my truck.  I didn’t say anything to the social worker about the seats because I was just meeting this woman.  If she was the one who bought the boys these seats, I didn’t want to offend her by saying they weren’t correct, so I just stayed silent.  She came out of the daycare with two of the most precious little boys that I have ever seen.  Identical twins, K and J walked outside in the cold with their little matching jackets on and I bent down to meet them.  “Hi, I’m Miss B,” I said.  “Oh, they’re going to call you mama,” the social worker interrupted.  “They call all women ‘mama’ and all men ‘daddy.”  “They can call me whatever they want,” I replied.  In my mind, I knew this wasn’t a good sign.  It isn’t normal for a child to use those words for anyone, but their immediate and most special caregiver.  T never called me, “mama” and he was with me for seven months.  The twins are younger than T, but still I knew this couldn’t be a good sign of attachment to their parents.  I picked the boys up one at a time and put them into their car seats.  The social worker told me she would be in touch with me later in the week and she drove away.

After everyone was all buckled, I got into the driver’s seat and looked in my rear view mirror.  Three three-year olds looked back at me.  Baby Girl, K and J were all buckled and ready to go.  Was I?  Could I do this?  Three children under three years old is a lot… but yes I knew I could!  God had given me this blessing and we were going to be fine.  I turned around and said, “Everyone ready to go home?”  K looked at me with a HUGE smile on his face and said to me clear as day, “We’re your babies now Mama!”  My heart both sank and broke at the same time.  They just met me.  They haven’t been in my car for two minutes and they’re already calling me, “mama.”

Sweet precious babies.  My sweet little twins!

 

 

 

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Meeting the two brothers

I met the two brothers tonight.  The boys have been in an emergency placement temporary foster home for the last three weeks since they came into foster care.  Their first foster mother is elderly and although she is a wonderful person who has taken in probably over 40 children through the years, she just can’t keep up with these two active little boys anymore.  They need a more than temporary place to stay.  That is where we come in.  We are an active young family with a huge back yard, living in an excellent school system, with a huge support network and plenty of love to give.  So, the boys will move in tomorrow.

I wanted to meet the boys tonight; however, before their social worker just shows up at their house tomorrow and takes them and all of their personal belongings and drives them to our home.  How incredibly scary for a 6 and 7 year old.  I met them at their foster parent’s church.  I played outside with the boys, ate dinner with them, flew paper airplanes and eventually sat them down and said, “I have a big house, with four other children to play with.  We have a trampoline and games and would really love to have you over.  Would you like to come and stay at our house for a little while?”  The younger boy didn’t even acknowledge that I was talking, but his older brother looked at me with big eyes and nodded his head, yes.  I didn’t expect any sort of response from them.  I just wanted to make this a little bit easier on them.  They have been through a LOT this month and I just wanted to make this transition from a temporary foster home to our home a little bit less scary.  I hope it helped!

So, tomorrow before noon, I will have 6 kids.  Yes, six!  I never in about one million zillion years thought this would ever happen, but here it goes!  GOD IS GOOD and so in control!  We have been praying for a long time that He would show us our path and while many many doors have slammed shut, this window just flew wide open!  Here we go!

It was never meant to be empty.

Tonight, I washed the sheets on the bed that was never meant to be empty.  I washed them and remade the bed after Little Man left, but they’ve sat there unused for three months now and I felt it was time to wash them again.  Only Boy has stated that he NEVER wants that bed to be taken down, so although it would make his room much bigger and give him tons more room to play, it will stay.  It stays as a reminder of the precious little boy that changed my life.  It stays as a reminder to Only Boy that he DID have a brother and although he doesn’t live here anymore, that he always will.  It stays.  A few days after Little Man left I crawled up into that bed and smelled the pillow that he used that very last night in our home.  It hurt so bad!  I finally washed the sheets to keep myself from doing that again.  I didn’t want to feel that pain.  I don’t want to feel it now.  I want my family back.  I want the way it “was” to be the way it “is.”  I’m still hurting.

Two days ago I felt this sudden urge to get ready for a new foster placement.  Our home is still open for foster placements and our agency worker knows that we would really like another little boy to love.  I sent messages to both of our past workers reminding them that we are open for placements and that we have room for a child in need of a safe place to stay for the summer.  Nothing.  I guess that is good.  It is ALWAYS good if there is no need.  I don’t want children to be in need of a safe place.  I want the place they were born into to be their safe place.  But, if… if it is not… I want to be that safe place.  Until then, the bed will stay empty, even though it was never meant to be.

Tomorrow is the visit.

I’ve had it written on the calendar for weeks, the time is written in red.  We will not be late.  We will be dressed and ready to go well before the clock says the time.  I’ve had his outfit picked out for days.  He will be dressed in his cutest clothes.  I had his hair cut this week.  It has grown out for a few days, so it looks just perfect!  Tonight I gave him a bath, we moisturized his skin and now he smells squeaky clean!  I’ve cut his nails and cleaned his ears.  Tomorrow morning we’ll brush his teeth right before we leave the house.

Tomorrow is the visit.

Every single time that we have an upcoming visit I stress.  What will happen?  How will Little Man respond?  Will it be good for him or hurt him?  Will he cling to me or run to them?  Will he recognize people he hasn’t seen in almost a year?  I think all of these thoughts.  Then comes the preparations.  The diaper bag is packed.  The snack bag goes too.  I make sure we have everything that Little Man could possibly want or need.  We drive the two hours to the DHR building and we sit and wait.  Tomorrow will be the same.

Tomorrow is the visit.

I want to make a good impression.  I want them to see how much I care.  I want to be there for Little Man.  I want to be his rock when he needs me!  I want to be strong, but I feel so weak.  It is stressful and I feel anxious.  I must lean into the Lord.  I must trust that the Lord of heaven and earth has got this!  He knows what Little Man needs.  He knows what I need.  He will be my rock, so that I can be that for Little Man.

Tomorrow is the visit.

Trying to make sense of it all

It’s complicated.  Foster care is just that… complicated.  There are so many people involved and so many ideas from those people as to what should happen.  Then, caught in the middle are these precious children.  Children, who have no voice in what happens to them because they are too young and in the case of our babies, can hardly even speak.  So, “the state” makes the decisions for them.  Then, there are laws… laws that were written to protect these little ones, but often times these same laws do a lot more to protect the adults in these cases rather than the children.

Then, there are the foster parents.  We are the ones in the trenches.  We are the ones who open our homes and our hearts and welcome these precious little ones into our lives.  The night that DHR dropped our babies off at our house, I didn’t ask questions, I didn’t worry about the future, I just held them.  I loved them.  I comforted them and fed them.  It was not until several months in that I started asking questions.  What is going to happen with these two?  What is going on?  Who is going to raise them?  Are they worthy of raising such precious ones?  Do they have what it takes to chase after a one and two year old?  Are they healthy?  Do they have a house that is safe?  Do they want them?  Unfortunately, most of my questions went unanswered.  Months passed and I asked more questions.  What is going on?  When do we go to court again?  What is the plan?  Even fewer answers.

So, here we are at 10 months and 4 days with “our” babies.  We know that we will have them until November.  That is when the “permanency hearing” will take place.  That is when the babies will have been in care for the last 12 months, one year of their lives.  So much has changed.  They are walking, talking, eating different foods.  Little Man goes to preschool.  Baby Girl went from crawling and sitting to running, climbing, and playing independently.  They are completely bonded to our family and yet at any moment can be ripped away from everything that they know and put into a brand new situation.  It just doesn’t seem fair.

So, I sit and I worry and I wonder what I can do and the answer is NOTHING.  I can DO NOTHING.  I cannot do any more than I already am.  I love them, I watch over them, I feed them, and take them to the doctor when they are sick.  I change diapers, wipe noses, and clean up spills.  And, I pray!  I pray to the God who loves these little ones more than I ever could.  He created them and has a plan for their lives.  He has plans to give them a hope and a future.  It says so right in his Word!  I will rely on His promises.  I will trust in His sovereign plan.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11

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Our Monthly Visit

We had our monthly visit with our social worker from the agency this morning.  It went very well.  The babies and I were all set up outside  ready to enjoy running through the sprinkler, riding bikes, and drawing with sidewalk chalk.  The social worker and I talked as we watched the children play.  We talked about milestones that the children have reached over the past month and how our communication has been with the birth family.  We talked about the fact that another court hearing will be coming up later this month or early next month and how I should be prepared.  All in all, it was a great visit that ended with eating popsicles on the front porch and then of course baths for the babies since they were incredibly sticky after their yummy snack!