Y’all. This has quite possibly been the longest week of my life.
Last week, our family doubled in size overnight as 3 sweet foster babies entered our lives. 4. KIDS. Total. Count on your hand…one, two, three, FOUR.
I’m not going to lie to you. This week has been hard. Not like, oh, my child won’t eat his peas hard. But like, oh my (now) oldest flipped out because she didn’t have a balloon and my middle boy refused to nap and my (now) youngest is clinging to me like a June Bug, and oh yeah, by the way WHERE THE HECK IS MY BIOLOGICAL CHILD AND WHY IS EVERYTHING STICKY??!
Seriously, there aren’t enough wipes.
The first 24 hours were pure survival. Do you ever watch those shows? Where the people are dropped off in the wilderness with nothing but a sharp stick and a loin cloth? They end up naked, afraid, malnourished, hiding under some sort of “shelter” they fashioned from leaves and animal skins? Yep. That was us.
At one point, Jay and I locked eyes across the room. Naked children were flying about. The littlest one was soaked in some sort of sauce. Benji was afraid. And we both saw the same question in the other’s eyes: WHAT. HAVE. WE. DONE.
So we prayed. We asked others to pray. Lord, this was YOUR idea. YOU have to come through. YOU have to give wisdom, and strength, and wipees. And chocolate.
And He did–even the chocolate.
Sweet friends brought food, and wisdom, and encouragement. One brought a meal by yesterday (as part of an AWESOME meal train set up by church members). She came in, looking beautiful as always. Not sticky–I was jealous. She asked how things were going and I mumbled something
about taking up drinking about it being okay. When in reality, my eyes must’ve looked something like that of a hostage who can’t speak, for fear her attacker is listening. It’s not that they’re bad kids, it’s that there are so many of them…like a tiny herd.
Right now, we take things hour by hour. If the kids are mostly clothed, not fighting, eating decently well…it’s a successful hour, and we try again the next time. Sometimes there are tears, both from kids and adults. We’re all adjusting, all making changes and sacrificing things. Like showers. Or makeup.
But in those moments where I think we’ve gone crazy or wish I was secretly an alcoholic, I am treasuring things like this:
My biological son is LOVING this. I mean, really loving it. He and the 4 year old boy are having a blast–playing together, sword fighting, getting into trouble. The whole deal. It’s the sweetest.
The kids are doing well at school, and sleeping/napping well.
They told me they love it here.
They are learning how to say polite things, how to pray before meals, how to apologize to each other.
Jay and I are learning what it means to be poured out for others. Friends, we have NEVER been more tired. While cooking, the microwave timer dinged, and I opened the fridge. I told my mom I couldn’t believe it was only Saturday to find out that it was actually Friday. #depression
We have had more closet hugs, cookie binges, tears after bedtime than ever before. But each day, we realize the calling is great. Hard, but great. These kids need a safe place, and we can provide that for them. Sure, we’ll smell like three-day-old milk and no one will want to sit by us in church, but these kids will know they’re loved by us.
So as you read this, pray for these littles. They are strong, able to endure much more than I can. They are uprooted from family, forced to change schools and eat things that are green. Their clothes, toys, cars, foods are unfamiliar. And yet, they get up every morning and strive to make it through their day. Pray we can make that easier each time they wake and that our actions and words will only point them closer to Jesus.