A little over a week ago, our family grew to 5. I got a call on the way back from Dallas about a 3 year old red head that needed a home. With a little hesitancy, I accepted. Jonathan was fully excited and I was nervous. I don't even remember my drive home. August for us was slammed and there were only narrow gaps of time that would be okay for a placement, and just as the Lord does in perfect timing we got her in the 3 days that were between my visit to Dallas and our family vacation to Galveston. I am not sure I would of planned it that way, but God has a funny way of stretching a highly organized woman.
I got home at 4:30 and 5:30 my Arrow* representative came with paperwork for us to sign. At 6:00, my little red headed girl came with her CPS worker, who dispelled any wrong notions I had about the system. She was amazing. Miss D came in bouncing up to me and for the first time I thought, "Is this happening?" Adorable, full of energy, dimples & freckles she was ready for her adventure of exploring our house. My boys (5 and 3 1/2) came down the stairs and looked through the railing like they knew something big was happening and they were very unsure of it.
My husband and I signed our life away in paperwork, while my boys were doing a quick adjustment to her. My friends were serving pizza to all kids, bringing in a mattress and taking down a crib (we thought we would be getting a younger child), and I could hardly think straight. Our journey in foster care was starting and there was no backing out. To fully love was not a choice, but a demand. And so it began.
Miss D got two dunks in the bathtub that night, much to her demise, while my boys were very unsure of their new world. Jonathan had to go back to work much to his disliking at 8pm. She came downstairs with me, and when we turned the lights down low, her happy self turned into frightened self and the tears came. We both sat on the couch and had a good cry together. She wanted to be home and be with her grandmother. I was unsure I did the right thing in accepting the phone call and scared. Was her situation going to lead to adoption or is there going to be heartbreak in the end. Could I give adequate attention to my boys? Could I do this emotionally? It was real and not just an idea anymore.
My friends went to the store and bought sippie cups, clothes, panties, etc. for me. Earlier another friend bought almost every 3t and 4t outfit on the sale rack at Carters. Praise the Lord for awesome friends and the body of Christ. She came with one skirt and a shirt from her home...and nothing more. The one thing that turned the night around was the purchase of a baby doll. It gave her comfort. We headed upstairs to her bed and we read to her but she was not giving up. Finally at midnight, I started to sing to her Jesus Loves Me and she immediately rolled over and gave in to sleep. Could God possibly have given me a child that loves music as much as me?
I was a zombie. I could not process the day. I was vacant. How was life going to continue with this little girl who wanted her grandmother? How were my boys going to adjust? How was my 3 year old, strong willed little boy going to adjust to another 3 year old in the house?
The next day came and sun coming up was good for us all. Part 2 to come.
*Arrow Child & Family Ministries is our agency we are fostering through in conjunction with CPS.