I would love to share details and I would love to share pictures of my kids on this blog. I am unable to share specifics at this time, and it will likely be several months before I am able to do so. I know for certain I cannot post pictures online. I am also choosing to keep personal information private, and may continue to be protective of them into the far off future. But, I still want you to know details of our journey and how things are going. I’ll likely try a few different ways of talking about the kids. Some bloggers make up blog names for their kids. Some refer to them as Four Year Old Boy or DS4, etc. For this post…and maybe for the ones to come, I’m going to refer to my kids in their birth order (disregarding which twin was actually born first, I’m putting the boys first because I’m sexist that way) by days of the week, respectively. Allow me to introduce…
Monday–Our four year old son who lives in a foster home in Mustang. He has lived with this foster family for about 1.5 years. Early on he had some significant medical concerns and needed to be in a placement where he would be cared for appropriately. Through God’s protection and healing hand, there are no longer significant medical concerns. Praise God! Monday has a good idea what it is like to be in a family because of his current placement. He may have some difficulty transitioning out of this home, but we are so excited to reunite him with his siblings. He has had visitations with his younger brothers and sisters over the past few years, but has not lived in the same house as them in a very long time. Rob and I met him at his foster home this week. We played with cars and giggled a lot. He took some interesting pictures with my camera. He wanted Rob to hold him on his lap. He also wanted to make sure we were sitting near him when we played together. When his foster mom asked him how old he was, he would say One! and giggle. He finally admitted he is four. Monday is very talkative and I can’t wait for him to teach his little brothers and sisters all the fun things a big brother should. I also look forward to him reuniting and bonding with his twin sister. What a special thing to be a twin!
Tuesday–Our four year old daughter who lives in a foster home in Payne County with her two younger brothers and her younger sister. She likes to be a leader and I can tell she really loves her little brothers and sisters. She’s lived in a few different foster homes and has been with her youngest brother at the last two placements. They have been in their current home since mid-March. We first met Tuesday at the adoption party in May. I helped her string fruit loops and we laughed and laughed when two loops were stuck together. We also hung out with her at an event in June. Last Saturday was the first time for her to visit our house. She did a fantastic job sitting on her new pink potty and even stayed dry all afternoon because she told me when she needed to go! I can’t wait to see her playing with her twin brother!
Wednesday–Our three year old son who lives in Payne County with his older sister, his twin sister and his younger brother. He has been in his current placement since November and his foster parents are so proud of all the progress he has made. Wednesday is playful and talkative. He is independent and brave. He likes to play with his siblings and I’m looking forward to him getting to know his big brother. We have seen him at all of the same visits as Tuesday. He really wanted to flush the potty at our house last Saturday, but I told him he had to pee pee first. So the next time, he sat on his new green frog potty chair until he went…so then he got to flush. What a proud moment for us all! ; )
Thursday–Our three year old daughter who lives in a foster home in Payne County with her older sister, her twin brother and her younger brother. She has soft baby curls and big bright eyes. Rob sat in the very back seat so she wouldn’t have to be by herself on the ride to our house last weekend. She can feed herself, but she really likes it when a grown up helps her. I think she likes her daddy to help her the most. She got a little sassy with him on Saturday (as only a 3 year old girl can do) and she really listened attentively when he told her she needed to say she was sorry and always act nice to her daddy. She splashed and played in the swimming pool at our house. She tought the bubbles were lots of fun..especially when she dumped the bottle into the pool! I’m glad the girls have each other. Having a sister is such a blessing and I pray they will be close always.
Friday–Our two year old son who lives in Payne County with his two older sisters and one older brother. He’s our baby. : ) He nearly fell asleep in my arms the day we met. He was all tuckered out after a petting zoo and a horse ride. He was only brave enough for the horse ride after he saw Wednesday do it. He’s lived in his current foster home since mid-March. Before that, he was placed with his older sister, Tuesday. Friday has some food allergies. Nothing life threatening, thank goodness. However, if he eats food that he is allergic to, his skin will break out in a rash. We need to avoid wheat, eggs, soy, peanuts and oats. Feel free to send me your toddler friendly recipes, people! : ) He’s got the cutest little smile and chubby little baby cheeks. He loves to play and his foster mom says he likes to wake up really early. I have a feeling we’ll have some good quality early morning times together.
So, there are my kids. Boys are Monday, Wednesday, Friday and girls are Tuesday, Thursday. Easy enough, right? I have been thinking of ways to make sure that all of our children get enough individual attention. Rob tries to have breakfast with Calvin a couple of Saturday mornings each month. This gives them a chance to chat about life and plans for the future, college, finances, jobs, ect. In the fall, we’ve discussed Rob spending time with Riley and Duncan on Wednesday nights before/after youth group. Our little ones will likely go to bed in the early evening, allowing time for a late night movie for Dad and the big boys every once in a while. When I was a kid, I remember it was a treat to get to go to the grocery store with my mom. Just me and her. It was a simple thing, and perhaps a small sacrifice for my mom, but it gave us some time alone together. I was thinking that maybe I’d try to focus on special alone times with kids on particular days of the week. So, if Rob or I need to run an errand on a Monday evening, then our oldest (4 year old boy) would be the kid to have the alone time. Even simple things like helping unload the dishwasher could be an opportunity for one-on-one time with a child. I’m not sure if the Monday-Friday idea will stick as far as spending time with the kids…or for their blog names, but I thought I’d give it a try.
Our next step…
We’ll have all 5 kids at our house on Saturday. Yippie! We are planning on for sure keeping Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday overnight. We’re playing it by ear a little bit with Monday as far as the overnight goes. We are hopeful that he’ll be able to stay overnight. However, this will be his first visit with us, away from his foster family, and it might be a little hard on him. If he’s having a real rough time, we’ll consider meeting his foster parents in the evening, rather than having an over night visit this weekend. My sister Maggie is throwing a party for her daughter, Mary this weekend. She has recovered beautifully from her heart surgery and we’re celebrating! If our day is going well, we’ll drop by the party for a little while to meet some more aunts, uncles and cousins. However, as will probably be the case for a while..we’re not making definite plans and won’t hesitate to change plans as needed.
After this overnight visit…I’m not exactly sure what will come next. Rob and I are feeling real good about transitioning the kids into our home. It is a real good time for us to be home with them. Rob has the month of July off. A new teacher is starting in my classroom next week, so it will be easier for me to take some time off in the near future. I hope to talk with our caseworker tomorrow and discuss the schedule and plan for a move-in date for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. We are okay with transitioning Monday a little slower, yet anxious to have everyone together as soon as possible, as smoothly as possible.
Prayer requests: Pray for the transition. I know it is confusing to the kids as to why they may move from place to place, from caregiver to caregiver. Please pray that their transition will be smooth and that they will feel secure and loved. Pray for peace in their hearts. Please also pray for the foster parents. I cannot imagine the maturity and strength it would take to parent a child temporarily, knowing that they may move on to another family at any time. Pray for them as they close out this season of their lives. Pray also for wisdom for Rob and me, as well as the caseworkers as we are making decisions about when the children should move in to our home.
Praises: Praise God that we got committed to paying off our debts a few years ago, and when a paid for car dies on you, it hurts way less than when a car with a loan needs a new engine. Praise also that we have no more credit card debt! This has given us a cushion in our budget at a time that is certainly convenient to have money to purchase needed items. And praise for the countless people who love and support these children. People in my life have been praying for kids they’ve never even met. People in the kids’ lives have been praying for the perfect family for them. Thank you, Lord, that you know what is best in all things!