Ok, so this is a bit late, but better late than never!
As of April 11, 2014 my family has been complete for 6 MONTHS! It feels like both a lot longer and a lot shorter amount of time at the same time. On October 11, 2013 C and P moved in with Joel, S, and I. S moved in on September 25, 2013. These 6 months have been crazy! And crazy is putting it lightly! 🙂
Joel and I had to re-do our home study as our foster care license expires May 1st. So we had to re-do all the paperwork and make sure we have all the training and random other things (like have our fire extinguisher services). So today I was listening to a webinar (to fulfill the re-licensing requirement for training). The following quote really hit me and pretty much sums up the last 6 months.
“You don’t just adopt the happiness that they have the potential to feel, you adopt their trauma, you adopt their lack of innocence and their […] behaviors, you adopt their anger and their rage, and you adopt the people that hurt them and rejected them. And sometimes when you do that you join them in their despair because you can’t not feel their pain and just feel their joy. ‘Cause loving little people that get hurt requires that you embrace the hurt and their shame and their fears.” – Deena McMahon
When the kids moved in I had in mind all the fun times and all the moments we would share. I heard many times in training before the kids moved in that it would be a hard journey. NO ONE understands this until the kids are in the home. I tried, like REALLY tried to understand how hard and intense life would be. But you can’t, you just can’t.
In the past 6 months I have known more intense emotions than I have ever felt in my life. I have been heart-broken, despairing, excited, proud, loved, exhausted, angry, rageful, gleeful, and content. I have seen improvements and achievements, I have seen backsliding and behaviors that I thought would land me in the psych ward (quite honestly). I have seen more sibling rivalry over the basics in life than ever before but I have also seen growth and love in their relationship. I have seen Joel learn to grow and be a father. I have seen myself grow and learn how to be the parent I want to be (some days…) I have gotten support from surprising places and places I expected.
Sometimes I can’t remember life before kids. Pretty similar to when I met Joel and couldn’t remember life without him. Yes our days are hard. Yes I cry. Yes the kids yell and scream. Yes we are hopeful for the future. Yes we are counting on God to heal the hurts that cannot be seen. And Yes, we are a family and will always be!