On Monday, we had our first day of Classical Conversations, and I went ziplining with Audrey and her Girl Scout buddies, and ate dinner, and Jim and I tucked the gang of four in. I went to bed, and around 10:20 I heard Asher whimpering and fussing in his bed. He doesn't do that. I put him to bed, and he sleeps until the next day. That night, he whimpered. I crawled into his bed, snuggled him, and got him back to sleep, then quietly crept back to my bed. Five minutes later, he started up again. I just grabbed my pillow and went in. We snuggled all night. He'd search out my hand periodically or roll into the crook of my neck to snuggle if he got too cool. Looking back, I am so incredibly thankful for those sweet moments with my baby. Maybe he somehow felt the first ripples of the seismic shift that was about to hit our family and wanted one last night with his mama.
Our Tuesday started normally enough. Then at 11:30 am we got a call from our foster care agency about siblings who were looking for emergency placement. After many calls back and forth, many tears, many prayers, K and A were brought to our home at 4 pm that same afternoon. They will be here for as long as they need to be here.
They are sweet and beautiful, hurting and beloved, just as deserving of parents who think the world of them as every other kid on the planet. They haven't gotten that so far, but they'll get it as long as they are in our home, and we are in constant prayer that their parents are able to provide that for them at some point, too.
I have so many stories. Stories of my amazing kids loving these kids and being loved back. Stories of being called mom and dad by a little girl the very first day we met her. Stories of a baby boy holding his arms up to me as he calls me mama. Stories of our friends feeding us and dropping off walkers and clothes and a carseat. Stories of teaching a 3 year old how to clean up her area after she eats. Two days in, and there are so many stories. (I would tell more stories, but there's also so much exhaustion and dishes and food prep and kid loving and book reading and homeschool teaching that free time to blog is nonexistent. Also, going to the bathroom and eating have mostly slipped my mind for two days, but we're on our way to finding our new normal.)
I take such comfort in knowing that God's not finished with me yet, but that pales in comparison to the comfort it brings to know that God isn't done with K and A's stories either. We will forever be part of their story and they will forever be part of ours. We don't know how it will end. We don't know how long we'll play major roles in each other's stories, how long it will be impossible to extricate our story from theirs. But I look into their eyes, and I rub their backs, and I cook their food, and hug them when they trip on the wagon, and I comfort them after parent visitation, and I see love and hope and redemption and a future.
Please, Lord, let it be so.
And nothing says welcome to the family like get into the car, we're going to go stand in the sweltering heat for a middle school cross country meet. :)