This week has been a whirlwind to say the least!
Last Saturday my hubby was up on a ladder cleaning out a gutter and took a nasty fall off of the ladder. Our third and final stop landed him at the trauma center in the hospital. Thankfully he was not bleeding internally and everything else had checked out. We realize it could have been much worse and are thankful that he was only sore and bruised.
Monday we were back to work and still waiting for a phone call for a placement. We really didn’t expect one but were hopeful that this would be the week that we would receive our first call. Monday was pretty uneventful and quickly faded into Tuesday. Around 4:00 in the afternoon, I was home and getting ready to make dinner when the phone rang. On the other end of the phone was our case worker. He had called to thank us for a package we had sent him in the mail and then proceeded to ask us if we were willing to take our first placement. After giving me basic information, I asked if it was possible to call my husband and discuss this with him. He was in need of an answer immediately and I had about thirty seconds to decide. I quickly said yes and anxiously began preparing.
Although the house was ready, I now had the little peanut’s name, age and gender. So I went straight to work placing the name on the chalkboard on the door of the bedroom, pulling out a few toys and bringing them to the living room and tidying up any last minute things that I felt needed done. I was also surprised to see my husband coming through the door. He decided to leave work and made it home in record time. He was also a huge help and obsessing on the little things in the house – oh, how I love that man and his heart!
It seemed like days from the time of the phone call to the time of his arrival. But it was finally time for introductions. Our first glimpse of this child in the car brought smiles to our faces, and once out of the car, Peanut’s first words were “Hi, guys!” Quickly showing us his favorite toy and how it worked, we welcomed our first child into our home. My hubby asked if he could show him where he would be staying and took him to show him his bed and the house! Peanut was so excited about his bed and seemed to have no problems adjusting to his new environment. We made a quick trip to a local store to get some necessary supplies that we couldn’t have possibly prepared for and then it was home for snack, bath and bedtime. It was amazing how smoothly everything had gone and we were so excited and thankful for the easy transition.
The next few days held much uncertainty, many phone calls of everyone involved in his care. I seemed to hold it together and managed to keep the house picked up and got dinner on the table each night, along with laundry done. I believe I averaged about 30 phone calls the first day and probably 25 on each of the following two days. It was crazy, but I knew it was necessary. What I wasn’t prepared for was the immediate attachment that we would have with this precious child, and the amount of learning that would transpire over those few days.
In the process of caring for this child, I discovered the amazing dad in my husband and the magic touch and power of a father! He really rolled with each thing and did an amazing job. I learned that there is a high level of support needed for all involved, the biological family, foster parents, social workers, lawyers and all others involved. I learned the power of a support system and how necessary it was and what happens when that is not in place. We learned not all situations are bad and that sometimes in it necessary to walk along side someone and help them in a difficult time. We also learned to guard our hearts!
Today, with Peanut in tow, we headed to the courthouse for a shelter hearing. Nervous did not even begin to describe us, but we went and did what we had to do. Our only hope was that the court ruled what was best for this precious little boy! Within ten minutes of hearing, we knew that there was going to be an immediate reunification. I held my tears as much as possible and my husband reassured me that this was the right thing. We had prepared ourselves for this, but there really is no preparation. As we filed out the door, we said our goodbyes and gave Peanut a huge hug and thanked his family for sharing him with us.
With tears in my eyes and an empty stroller, we exited the building. I cried the entire way to the parking lot knowing that even though it was the right thing, we were heartbroken. My husband held it together and off we drove. Once in the car, he broke and that was okay. We both needed this moment to grieve the loss we had just experienced. After all Peanut was our first!
We decided on lunch and had an awesome time reflecting on his stay, and figuring out how to put everything in perspective and move forward. My husband said that he wanted to do something special for me, and wanted to get me something so that we remember each child that enters our home. I also had an idea that I had shared with him. We decided that we were going to start a scrapbook with a picture of each child and a letter or note about our experience with each child for our own personal memories. So we stopped at the local craft store and purchased those supplies and then my husband took me to our favorite jeweler. We decided on a Pandora bracelet. So he will purchase a charm for me for each child that enters our home. It was so thoughtful and generous of him and probably one of the most precious gifts I have received and every time we look at that bracelet, we will recall and pray for each of these children.
Through this all, we are blessed, we knew full well what we are getting into when we answered the call to this journey. Our hearts are in fostering children and giving them hope and love in a bad situation. While we are open to the possibility of adoption, we are not seeking adoption at this time. Someday down the road that may change but today we are committed to caring for these children when they need us, even if for only a moment!
Proverbs 4:23 ~ “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”