This week on the 24th, we will celebrate 13 months that our first little foster child "G" has been with us. You can read all about the day I picked him up HERE. I've thought and thought about how in the world I can express in one blog post exactly what a year it has been. There have been ups and downs...good times and bad...lots of laughs and a few cries...but any year in any life is that way.
G transitioned very well into our home. It was amazing actually. Being he was our first, I had no idea what to expect. I brought him home that first afternoon and he melded right into our family. This picture is after he had fallen asleep that first night and I laid him in his crib. He slept the entire night! No tears. I still wonder what may have been running through his 23 month old mind at that time. Thankfully, he had come to us on a Friday so we had the weekend to bond a bit.
We learned about each other a little each day. That first evening when we sat down to dinner I was all ready to feed him. He wasn't verbal at all so I had no idea where his other development skills were. Well, let me tell you. This kid had NO trouble at all in the feeding skills. It was funny actually. I had him in his high chair and sat down in front of him to feed him. Held the spoon to his mouth and he looked at me as if I were the dumbest human being on earth. Would not open his mouth at all. Did his signature whine and jerked his head to the side. Oh no, I thought...(remember, I'm an instant worrier)...he's not going to eat! Then he held his hand out for the spoon and I handed it to him...he brought the plate a little closer to him and DUG IN! He definitely didn't need any help in this area! :-)
So on we went...learning about each other a little every day. He bonded with us quickly and seemed to trust us instantly. Other areas, however, have taken quite a good while..
There have been moments that took my breath away...the first time he called me "Mama"...those moments when he, unprovoked, wrapped his arms around my neck and squeezed me tight...picking him up from day care and he smiles and RUNS to me..him crawling up in my lap and laying his head on my chest while looking up at me with those big brown eyes and saying "I yuv ewe, Mommy" Watching as he and our grandson Kaden play together as if there is no tomorrow...watching as he absolutely BLOSSOMS into who God created him to be..
There have been moments of pure joy...watching as G opens up to others and allows people in to his world...smiling more than cries..the tantrums becoming less and less frequent as he slowly learns to handle his feelings in other ways....watching our son Kobe as he and G play and thinking how proud I am that Kobe 'gets" it...the reason we do what we do for these kids. Watching G dance to his favorite song..."Helicopter" by B-Shoc (this boy has some moves!)...watching Mark lay in the floor with the kids piled on him and hearing the shrieks of laughter coming from the kids...listening to our now very verbal G tell us about his day at school and how he went potty all day with no "accadents"..."I did it, Mommy!!"
Oh, how we love this boy...he has become a part of our family..the thought of him going home brings instant tears to my eyes...
Biologically, G belongs to another family...another set of parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles...he is someone else's son, grandson, brother....God sent him to them for a reason. Of that, I am sure. They love him dearly. I have no question of that. I have met them...listened as they spoke of him.
In every other way...he is ours. And even if the day comes where we are called to let him go..he will forever be ours..forever in our hearts. Those moments with him will forever live on with us...
When we started this process, even before we were licensed, my prayer to God was this:
"Father, I pray that you send us the children that you would have us care for...for as long as you would have us care for them. Send those that you will us to have..whether it be for one night or forever."
And knowing that makes it a little easier to trust God's will in his life and in ours. No matter what the outcome will be, we are forever changed by knowing G and having him in our lives. And if being here with us has made even a small impact on this little ones' life..then we've done what we've been called to do.