Thursday, June 30, 2016

TEN CHILDREN (the next installment)

Back in July of 2013, I wrote a post on the first twelve children to grace our home through the foster system and Safe Families for Children. All of them fun and handfuls and soul-stretching and beautiful. The first list left off at Miss L & Mr. N who were with us for 2 months. After they left, we took a break during the pregnancy of and first few months with our second son, Silas. But then we were excited to jump in again. Are you ready for the next installment?

Mr. W (24 hours) - A little Safe Families guy--his mom needed someone to watch him while she worked on a holiday (since his daycare was closed). Bryce was working and so I thought: why not welcome another little man with my two for the day. He was three years old and still slept with his mom, so it was a lonely night for him sleeping on my floor--poor little guy. I woke up many times to comfort him back to sleep.

Miss A (6 weeks) - Our oldest placement to date at 12 years old. She stayed with us during the week and took the bus to school 45 minutes away. The weekends she spent with mom and twin brothers--they were waiting on subsidized housing to be approved. It was a challenging placement. We learned a lot (next time: ground rules will be established at the beginning) and struggled to connect (there's no time to bond when kids go home on the weekends).

"Peanut" and JD taking an afternoon nap.

Mr. D, Mr. D & Mr. D (8 days) - Our most challenging placement of them all. We did respite care for 3 foster boys, ages 7, 5 and 3. Graciously, God worked it out so Bryce was home all but one day of their time with us. (There was another day he was supposed to work but my body literally freaked out from stress: I got sick at 3am and so he had to stay home to help me. God knew.) Physical aggression, bad words, rampant disobedience....and yet such sweet and goofy moments. I remember doing a paper plate art project with the older boys and we sang silly songs together (one afternoon when I was at my wits end....thank you, Lord, for spur-of-the-moment ideas). The entire week was eye opening for us to see first-hand the heartbreaking condition of these little lives torn apart by change and trauma beyond their control.

Miss A (1 week) - Her mom called her Peanut; she was feisty and fun (more about her visit here). We enjoyed our week with Peanut, once some boundaries and expectations were established. This Safe Families mom and I kept in contact for a bit after the week ended--she sent me pictures and updates. Such a beautiful part of the Safe Families ministry to be able to continue relationships!

Miss Z (1 month) - This girl: oh how I loved her. Quickly she came (read more here) and suddenly she was taken away (more about this here). We learned even more about the foster care system, how to interact with bio parents (more specifically, what not to do), and allowed our hearts to be drawn into care and concern for her. Sometimes I still miss her and it reminds me to pray.

Our little "Z" and JD playing together.

Big D (12 months and counting) - Our D-man! He's been with us for a year now and what fun it has been to see him grow and change. Here's a post about his first two months with us. Who would have thought that 8 months later his sisters would join our family as well...

Miss S & Miss A (4 months and counting) - Only God could have planned this part of our journey....such sweet girls with beautiful hearts. It's been a crazy ride! More updates about them coming soon . . .

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