Our first placements arrived at our home on March 10, 2022. One year later I share some reflections on our year navigating foster care,
They came in the evening with giggles and McDonalds. Our quiet and tidy house transformed literally overnight to kid central. We are sleep deprived. We are overwhelmed. We are so in love. Thank you to everyone that helped us prepare for this moment. Whether through items, donations, time, or prayer. It has worked. We are here. Soaking in every moment with these three precious little ones.
– My Facebook Update on March 12, 2022
I’ll never forget the first time I saw them. Our rockstar social worker pulled up in front of our home in the early evening of March 10, 2022. It was nothing like we had anticipated or prepared for as so much of their journey to our door was unique. But I’ve come to understand that’s the beauty and mess of foster care. Each child navigating the system has a story and experience so unique and specific and is often a mix of heartache, joy, trauma, strength, and resiliency.
The First Days
I just loaded a colored pencil into the silverware basket of the dishwasher.
– My Facebook Update on March 17, 2022
Where is the handbook that tells me what to do when my child poops while in the bathtub? No one trained me for this!
– Text sent to my coworkers on May 19, 2022
Our first week was a mix of joy and exhaustion. We knew we were in the honeymoon period. The kids were giving us their best selves. Our immune systems were adjusting to three little ones as we battled upper respiratory infections, pink eye, and lots of boogers.
We gave lots of grace, but received even more. We were new parents and had just been handed a 6 year old, 5 year old, and 15 month old. It took time to figure out routines and preferences. Step by step we figured the ins and outs of the foster care system. I started to remember what forms needed to be signed at which appointments and how often paperwork needed completed and who it needed to be sent to. Trial and error led to us uncovering the triggers to avoid, the trauma behind behaviors, and the overall deep desire to be loved and feel safe.
There was this overwhelming season with two littles under two and two more young ones where every day felt like a war zone. I don’t know when it happened but that season has faded and just comes in little moments. But those moments are speckled with one like this morning: when the now two year old is being sweet and is playing quietly and independently while the baby naps, and the older two do their own crafts at the table and play together without arguing. It’s a glimpse of peace but also a reminder that these days are going so fast. We are closing in on one whole year of these kids in our care and I’m humbled by every second. We will face more trials and walk through more trauma and sometimes it feels like one step forward and 24 steps back. But celebrating the wins and affirming how far these kiddos have come.
– My Facebook Update on February 11, 2023
I’m still very tired. Two months after these kiddos arrived, we received a call that their newborn sibling needed a home. And just like that the structure and routine we had built collapsed as their 10 day old sibling joined our family. Again, we leaned into grace and learned what this new dynamic meant for our family. Today marks one year since they first walked through our door and they are still here. There may be uncertainty about their future, but we’re walking into it together.