There is so much I have forgotten about doing foster care since we retired from it all five years ago. I guess, as it is with many things in life, we forget the bad and remember only the good parts of it all.
In all honesty my whole family is totally enjoying the good parts of foster care this go around. I could just sit and watch these two sweet toddlers play all day long. They are so cute and are like little sponges that want to learn. I enjoy reading books to the two year old so much and rocking the one year old to sleep at each nap and bed time is just delicious to me. I try to rock the one year old to sleep an hour before the two year old at night so I have an hour or so with the two year old, rocking him to sleep as well. He wants to be held so badly and cuddled too because he is still a baby himself really.
When we got them we picked them up from DFCS and they had both just been released from the hospital. I can not go into the details of the case but I took them to the pediatrician on Friday (9 days after they came here) and was told I could now stop sponge baths and actually let them have tub baths! Yippee! They had such a great time in the tub. I was just as wet as they were once we were thru. They never stopped giggling and splashing the whole time.
When DFCS picked them up from the hospital they had nothing on but hospital gowns. DFCS put them into Pajamas for us but we had to stop on our way to pick them up and get car seats, diapers and clothing for them both. The next day I took them to the store to buy them shoes. The two year old loves his shoes. For the first week he cried when I took them off at night and I had to tell him over and over he can wear them again tomorrow when he got up.
My children love these sweet ones so much and are so genuinely helpful with them because they want to spend time with them. Elizabeth reads to them and plays with them when she could be doing other things. Carolyn has played "ring around the rosies" so many times and is so patient with them both. They both are very drawn to William for some reason and both fell asleep on him the other evening while he was watching them while I made dinner. Even Zeke, who is very reserved and does not like change of any kind has made a small bond with each of them. Zeke literally hid the first few days. He would look at them from another room but would not go near them. He was not bad about it or mean, just unsure of how to act around them. He slowly has warmed up to them and I have seen him give hugs to them and sit and play a little bit with them. I was very surprised yesterday as he and the two year old were watching Curious George together. The two year old had snuggled up next to Zeke and Zeke didn't mind. Then the two year old put his hands up wanting up on Zeke's lap and Zeke moved him from beside him onto his lap. I looked in later and the two year old was fast asleep on Zeke's lap. It warmed my heart. Antonio loves to watch them play and they hand him toys and he hands them back after a while.
Of course I am enjoying them a lot. Even with the broken sleep, dirty diapers, extra work and all that goes with toddler care. I feel God helping me each and every moment of every day and have enjoyed it all and had enough energy to keep up with it all. Tim loves babies and toddlers. Both toddlers light up when they see him when he comes home from work. He plays with them and with all our children. He has always been the fun one. He also loves to hold them when they are sleepy and falls asleep with them on his lap in the recliner.
So over all we are really enjoying these two precious little ones God brought into our family.
What I had forgotten was the DFCS side of it all. The bio family side of it all. How each time DFCS calls to give me an update on the case my jaw drops and I just shake my head from hearing what goes on in the world that I never think about anymore. The crimes against children, mistreatment and neglect and how hard it is to not dwell on it all. I don't want to have any type of animosity in my heart toward the parents involved in any of our cases. I want to fully pray for them with the love of the Lord, deep concern, a heart that is soft toward them and their situation and need of salvation. The more I hear, the more I have to let it go and stay in prayer about it all. One particular fact that I learned the other day I just could not shake. I had to speak about it with someone and process it all, so I could let it go. I had to call Tim at work, poor guy, and just vent for a moment in order to let it go. It was just so terrible.
I praise God, Praise God, Praise God, that I was born into the family I was born into. That I was raised the way I was raised. That I knew love from the moment I was born and cherished as a life that was created by God and here for a purpose. If any of us were born into these hard situations it would be a very ruff road and any of us could be in the shoes of these parents. It could have been me.