So if you didn’t read my post last Sunday please take a peek. But to do a quick recap last Sunday at church God moved in my heart and I gave over control COMPLETELY. I was struggling to trust that we’d ever get to F-A-M-I-L-Y, I kept running around trying to make it happen on my own efforts and with wheels spinning . I surrendered on Sunday and ON MONDAY at 11:42 we received a call about a little boy & little girl needing a home IMMEDIATELY due to a disrupted placement. They told us that we could be a respite home, or a foster to adopt home.
Respite Care: Respite care involves short term or temporary care of a few hours or weeks. Respite care is designed for the sick or disabled to provide relief, or respite, to the regular caregiver. The regular caregiver is usually a family member.
Foster–Adoption: A child placement in which birth parents’ rights have not yet been severed by the court or in which birth parents are appealing the court’s decision but foster parents agree to adopt the child if/when parental rights are terminated.
Matthew and I met at home at 12:30 for lunch to discuss possibilities. After reviewing a little bit of their history and praying hard but swiftly we decided that we wanted to hear more. At 2:40 I got a call from their caseworker that they wanted to consider us for our history and experience believing we’d be a great fit for these kids. They gave us more information about the kids and explained their trauma, loss, time in care, health issues, as well as a little girl who recently broke her leg. We after talking to them from 3:30-4:30+ decided a decisive yes.
The caseworker asked if we could receive that very night MONDAY?!?! She said we could wait but that they would go to respite or they needed to find a new resource, we wanted to spare them a 5 placement since November. Yes, you read that right these babies have been in 4 different homes, rooms, beds, towns, families (foster & respite), since NOVEMBER, we wanted to provide stability and said YES they can come tonight. Then we ran around town purchasing a bed from the only store open at 7:30 that sold mattresses BIGLOTS 600$ later we had bought snacks, underwear, 2 toys, snuggly blankets and 2 stuffed animals (for comfort) & we ran home. Next, we put together two quick makeshift rooms, assembled a bed, put a mattress on it & the new boxsping, cleaned, unloaded groceries, made the rooms look comfy and then rested for about 35 minutes and they kids came with a transporter since they were very far away. We put toys in the mutual playroom with the toys the nieces and nephews play with so it’d be less formal and for them as not to have them think we’d buy a million toys. They got here and the little girl had a broken leg and was screaming in the car. Jackie (transporter) helped us unload the 5 suitcases and 3 plastic bags into the house.
Then we brought the kids in, the boy took a quick tour of house when they arrived at 11:40 PM the girl threw a tantrum and cried asking for the only constant in her life, a caseworker named Mikole, she begged and pleaded for the only person that has ever stayed. They have lost so much throughout the years. After a movie on the couch we headed to bed where a sweet girl was carried because she had drifted on the couch and a boy who was shown his bedroom again because he had forgotten where it was. A boy who had in the first 20 minutes with strangers said in the kitchen, “I promise I am a good boy and I will be good” my heart broke for the first time in that moment and many others following. He was already trying to prove his worthiness to us.
Since Monday we have dealt with…
- Mental health issues
- Past abuse
- ‘hating us’ because she needs to feel safe and nothing about being somewhere new is safe.
- We have had 6 family team meetings.
- We have laughed
- We have cried
- We have fought bedtime
- We have had sponge baths due to broken leg
- We have ru
- Cuddled with dogs
- We’ve done helping chores
- We went to park
- A walk
- We did story time
- We submitted a IEP
- We began enrollment process for school
- A little girl yelling excitedly “I love having this family” my heart swelled. A little girl who through all her fights is fighting her brokenness and her trauma and her loss. A girl with more strength than any person I know. A girl who has nobody in this world is beginning to trust us
- A boy who is hesitant about women at times asked me to hold his hand at dinner
- We had to fight their feelings of being unloved, we had a little girl scream “nobody love me, not God, not santa, not you and not daddy (Matthew)” and we had to say it over and over and she still doesn’t believe us but we stood firm. I said, “I love C not because she is good but because she is C and I can love C because God loves me first”.
- Matthews words: Today the sweetest little girl told me she knew the “santa song.” And that is why Jesus doesn’t love her. Why God doesn’t love her. Why santa doesn’t love her and neither did we. She said she knew the santa song that said he knows when you are sleeping and knows when you’re awake, he knows when you have been bad or good. She said she had been bad, so nobody loved her. Her and her brother are afraid that if they are bad they will have to leave here. I had to hold her hands and tell her that we love her no matter what. I told her there’s nothing she could do to make me love her less. She doesn’t believe that. So I told her that was okay, we would show her our love for her. And little by little, she will see.
- We are out of meds for a little boy and have several specialists the kids need to see, but these kids are resilient.
Their trauma shows in their words, in their actions, their fears, their privacy issues, their being alone, their tantrums, their statements of being “ugly, unloved, fat and bad” and their interactions with each other and lastly that they are already callings us MOM and DAD after 4 days. This is not a sweet gesture its a gesture of their trauma and not knowing what is constant, not understanding the titles and never before having anyone that was constant….
By the grace of God and all those people that have prayed for us, encouraged us, cried with us, prayed over us, given us money, given us toys, shoes and clothes, taken our dog to the vet today, brought us dinner, bought us groceries, brought us HAM, brought a kitchen timer for a little girl who needs to know when she can expect “dinner, quite time, free time, family time etc” and stickers for their papers,offered their solace of coffee for us to regain consciousness…(still haven’t used that one YET), offered to make a school chart for our little’s, called doctors for our kiddos, let their kids bring toys from their rooms by their own accord and a sweet letter introducing themselves, gave advice about Occupational Therapy for a boy with cerebral palsy.
Thank you times a million!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We continue to need you, we continue to thrive because you carry us in your prayers. Not sure where this journey will take us, but we will love the kiddos as long as God has them in our house.
OH and did I mention that we got the kids to bed by 8:10 tonight? First night 1:00 AM, then 10:30 PM, the third night we only slept two hours, then 9:10, and tonight 8:10, craziness!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And instead of watching TV under covers on Matthews phone because I am too afraid to walk in creeky house to retrieve a laptop tonight we are bravely in the living room watching TV, talking above a whisper…we are living dangerously. I am loving him more than I knew, in a new way, a way that calls me to depend on him, to need him desperately and to be in the trenches together. Love you Matthew.