As I sit by my mom’s bedside I’m reminded of how important it is to invest in our relationships with the ones we love on a regular basis. Don’t wait until someone is ill to call on them. Don’t wait until it’s too late to ask how someone is doing. Sometimes we take the people in our everyday lives for granted. We go on doing what we always do, going where we always go, and just keeping the routine.
What if we are intentional with our relationships each day? Call someone who means a lot to you and isn’t in your daily life. Reconnect with that loved one who meant so much to you as you were going through a tough time. Send a card to someone just to say that you’re thinking of them. You won’t regret the time and effort it took to reach out. They may appreciate it more than you know.
It seems that everyone is adjusting well to the new arrangements. Four biological kids, three foster kids, and two adults make for a busy household! Thankfully the kids get along very well. The four are modeling the routines and expectations for the three, so that is incredibly helpful.
There are some practical things that we anticipated would be an issue:
Hot water–we have to wait for water to heat up between showers
Shower availability–only one shower in the house is functional right now
Laundry–Nine people wearing an outfit and pj’s each day, plus bedding, towels and B’s gym clothes…yikes!
But, hey, if this is all we’re worried about–no big whoop! Nothing that a new water heater, repaired shower, and an additional washer/dryer set won’t fix! In the meantime we are trying to make sure that we are showing Christ’s love in what we’re doing. Teaching all seven love, gratitude, and kindness.
And how am I doing? I’m tired, but joyful. There is so much happiness in the house, it gives me energy when I’m running on fumes! A generous amount of coffee doesn’t hurt, either!
It’s official! We became a family of nine today after the long awaited arrival of three little darlings needing a foster home. This was a planned move, but due to new regulations in our state we had to be re-fingerprinted and our information uploaded into the new data system. Forty-six long days later and they are finally with us!
We had already established a relationship with these children over the past year. We had provided respite care for the previous family and the kids attend school in the same district in which I work. To say that it was important to us that they be able to maintain consistency by remaining in their home school district and with their friends is an understatement! On a more personal level, though, it’s hard not to fall in love with these kids. But in my opinion, if you don’t love them you’re not doing it right.
While the kids will miss the family that was their short term placement, they are excited to be here, knowing that they will continue to have visits with the previous family. Our families will trade roles by making this home and the previous family would like to be involved as grandparent figures. A win-win situation.
How did the kids handle the first day? M. said that it’s like a sleep over–but we don’t have to leave! When we said prayers she wanted to pray for a forever home. My daughter prayed that it would be ours.
Between our two families and the teachers and staff at their school, these children have a lot of people who love and care for them!
Do you have extra room in your home? How about in your heart? Have you ever considered foster care? When children are removed from their home, usually through no fault of their own, they most often are placed in a foster home. Usually due to abuse or neglect, the child’s parents are unable to meet their safety needs. Trained foster parents care for the children and work with the biological family as well as case workers, therapists, and medical professionals to follow the case plan and if possible, support the goal of reintegration. If that isn’t possible or safe for the child a foster family might care for the child until an adoptive placement is found.
This weekend we have the pleasure of providing respite for another foster family. We have a sibling group of two girls and one boy staying with us. They are amazing kids. They are near my own children’s ages, so it has been like a play date all weekend. When my husband and I talked to our children about becoming a licensed foster care provider we discussed details like sharing our attention, their space and their toys. They had questions but were excited to help. It isn’t a decision to take lightly, but it’s what we feel called to do. James 1:27 states that, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
To find out more click here for a foster care resource list or make an appointment with someone from your local agency.