I have heard all three terms used to imply when a foster care home has space available to take in kiddos.
We stood in the doorway and stared down two empty toddler beds sitting in our home. We had said goodbye earlier in the evening to our latest friends that had stayed with us for the past eleven days.
The text came on a Friday evening. Two kiddos. Two little kiddos. That night. Long-term (as far as anyone could tell)
I had so been looking forward to the weekend. I was in the middle of re-organizing my daughter’s clothes/bedroom and I was quite comfortable saying “no” to our worker….especially to long-term placements in our current season of life. But that night, neither my husband nor I felt like “no” was the right answer….We told Lucy what was happening and we prayed for our new friends. We asked that God would help them feel comfortable in our home and that we would be kind and know how to love them well….and be able to share our toys with lots of grace. J
An hour later I was loading two new friends into the back of my minivan.
“Letter Factory” entertained them while we made the trip back “home.”
Life was busy, or at least busier, for the ten days they were here. But it was also fun. We had 5 kids 4 and under running through our home. We had two new friends that were sweet…and smart…and adorable. We were exhausted, but we were thankful. Not thankful for the circumstances that led them to our home, but thankful that God had asked us to say “yes”…and thankful that we did.
As I’ve mentioned before, people ask “what about your kids??” And sometimes I worry when we have extra kiddos that our biological children somehow suffer as a result…but after the last week and a half, I realize that’s simply not true. My kids are learning to love others in a way I struggle to understand even as an adult. When bedtime arrived the first night, Lucy ran upstairs and brought down her two favorite nightgowns and let her new friend choose first…a process that would repeat itself every day when we got dressed and every night before bed. A girl who LOVES her dresses and can sometimes be overly protective of her possessions was willingly offering up her favorite “fancy dresses.” She was giving them her best.
We knew a few days in that it wouldn’t be long term and that there were wonderful relatives that would take them long-term (always the best outcome). Yesterday we got the “official” word. We packed up their belongings and took some pictures. And then we told Lucy. I was not prepared for her response. We’ve had other friends in our home and said goodbye to them. But her little heart did not understand and MY heart broke for her. I cried with her and empathized with her. “Mommy’s sad, too. I’m going to miss them so much, too.” We did the best we could to explain & we took our new friends to their relative’s home.
As we pulled away, Lucy said something that just made my heart dance---
“Mommy, I’m so happy for them.”
Me too, sweet girl, me too.