Oldest boy came and got me tonight to tell me T was crying in his bed. I went in and heard him sobbing. As I knelt down next to him I asked what it was that made him start crying. “Every time I close my eyes, I see my Granny,” he said. His soft quiet sobs into his pillow were almost silent, but his body rose and fell with each cry. “Oh sweet baby,” I said, “what can I do?” He rubbed his sweet little eyes and looked up at me. “Will you make me a Mississippi Mud Pie?” he asked. “Absolutely!” I said and I rubbed his back and sat with him until he fell asleep.
My Oldest Boy became my Only Boy when Little Man left. He hates it! I do not use the term “hate” lightly here. He HATES being the only boy! With his Daddy deployed it makes it even worse. Grandma is here visiting too, so that makes five girls and one boy living in our house right now. It’s pretty rough! So, today I invited two of his best friends over for some “guy time.” They ate spaghetti for lunch, drank tons of Gatorade, ate junk food, played video games, played card games, jumped on the trampoline, and we ordered pizza for dinner. They were in boy heaven! The boys stayed all the way til bedtime. After I dropped the boys back at their home, Only Boy got into our truck and said, “I love you mom! Can they come again next weekend?”
It breaks my heart for my son. He prayed every night the six months before Little Man arrived that God would give him a brother. Unlike other kids his age, he couldn’t wait to share his room! He didn’t mind sharing his toys. He didn’t mind sharing attention. He had a brother! I keep reminding him that he ALWAYS will have a brother! Always! Nobody can ever take that away from him. No matter where Little Man lives, he will always be my son’s brother. They were/ARE great brothers! Life is funny sometimes. It gives us just what we have been wishing and hoping for, but then takes it away. We don’t understand right now, but I pray someday we will. For now, we pray for Little Man and love him from a distance. Maybe there is another little boy who will enter foster care who desparately needs a big brother… And a mommy, a daddy, and three sisters! Maybe…
When we first told people that we were going to become a foster family for children entering foster care the response was mostly positive. A few people; however, did voice their concerns. Most of the concerns were in regards to our biological children. Friends and family members would say things like, “What about your children, aren’t you worried about how this will affect them?” “What if the foster child hurts one of them?” “What if your kids get too attached and it breaks their heart when the foster child has to go back to their family?” The other thing that was stated a lot was this, “Well, you better always remember to put your kids first… don’t get so wrapped up in your foster kids that you forget who is important.” This was one comment that I just didn’t care to hear. I was pretty frustrated when people would suggest that “our” kids were more important than the “foster” kids. We weren’t going into this foster care thing to be glorified babysitters. We didn’t care to have two groups of children, one special and set apart and one not. That was just NOT how we were going to do this thing. We were going to be a family… all of us! We prepared our children for nearly a year before we became foster parents. We made the decision as a family. They were involved in every aspect of the decision and planning. They were interviewed by THREE social workers and asked their opinions and ideas about our family becoming a foster family. This was a decision that we did not take lightly nor did our kids go into it with “rose colored glasses.” They knew the truth about what could happen. They knew they could get bit, spit on, hit, kicked, or yelled at by our foster children. They knew their toys could get ruined, their bedrooms turned upside down, and that mommy and daddy might sometimes need to tend to the foster child before being able to help them with something.
The funny thing is, that since Little Man and Baby Girl have entered our home and in turn entered our family not one person has said those concerns they had in the beginning to us. No longer do people question if we are taking good enough care of our biological children or if we are “putting them first.” No longer do friends or family worry about how this whole foster care thing could negatively effect our family. I guess there is just something to seeing our PRECIOUS Little Man and Baby Girl each and every day interacting with their three older siblings that melts a person’s heart and just pretty much erases all of those fears.
I often check in with my oldest three and ask them how they are doing. I want to make sure that we are all still on the same page. I want to see how they are handling the responsibility of being older siblings to our two babies. I thought it would be fun for others to get to hear what my oldest boy thinks about being a foster brother.
My interview with Oldest Boy- 10 years old
Me- “What is your favorite thing about being a foster brother?”
Oldest Boy- “I like it because I can share my feelings a little bit more. I get to play with someone who is like me… a boy. I like to watch my little brother because he likes doing what I do and he likes playing with me.”
Me- “What is your least favorite thing about being a foster brother?”
Oldest Boy- “Him screaming and when we are telling him to do something and he doesn’t do it.”
Me- “What would you tell other families who are thinking about becoming foster families?”
Oldest Boy- “I would tell them, it is fun. It helps you with patience.”
Me- “Do you like sharing a room or would you rather have your own room?”
Oldest Boy- “I would rather be together… to be with my brother. I get to help him fall asleep and I get to do a lot of stuff with him.”
Me- “What do you think is the hardest part about being a foster family?”
Oldest Boy- “Sometimes you argue.”
Me- “Are you happy that we became a foster family?”
Oldest Boy- “YES!”
The boys playing computer games together, a favorite pastime for both!
Oldest Boy- age 10 years
Awesome, Believer, Caring, Dude, Easy going, Friend, Giving, Happy, Helper, Imaginative, Junior, Kind, Loving, Man of the house when Daddy is gone, Nice, One of a kind, Polite, Patient, Quiet, Rescuer, Son, Talented, Ten year old, Unconditionally loved, Very sweet, Wonderful brother, eXtra special, Young, Zips from one thing to another.