wife to Jake, mommy to my 3 crazy munchkins, Lily (7), Jonah (5.5) and Kate (4). Taking this crazy blessed life one day at a time.

7.28.2015

Our first foster care experience.

Last week we had a 3 year old boy come to live with us for the week. It was a respite care situation and it was our first time having a child from DCF come into our home.

Honestly? I was excited, but nervous. And scared.

We knew a bit about him and even got to meet him once, but still, I was nervous. Since we had never done this before, I just didn't know what to expect.

But we went in to this knowing that this boy needed a home for the week, knowing that he would have to leave us and go back to his family, and knowing that he just needed a family to love on him, keep him safe, care for him and have fun with him.

And that's what we did.

And we all stepped up to the plate. Especially my kids.

Boy do those kids love and love hard.

They welcomed him and immediately brought him into our family.

Jonah was thrilled to share his room, his toys, his stuffed dinosaur and even a few pairs of socks. Lily happily took him up and down the treehouse countless times, put on his shoes, read him story after story after story, and was so proud to be the first one to successfully put him down for his nap. Kate was his constant playmate, holding his hand on family walks (at his request), playing trucks in the dirt, and blowing hundreds of bubbles.

It was beautiful.

I can't really explain how it felt to see my kids in this way. They were so sweet, so caring, so loving, so forgiving, so accepting, so helpful, in ways I had never seen them before.

Overall, it was a great week. We definitely had some bumps and bruises along the way, as it is never a seamless transition. One thing that surprised me was how quickly Jake and I forgot what it was like living with a three year old! And a three year old that was constantly learning the rules and how we do things in our home. Boy was it exhausting!

We had lots of fun going swimming, blowing lots of bubbles (I think we went through 4 bottles!), going to playgrounds, the library, the splash pad, the bakery, playing with planes and trucks and cars and eating lots of PB&J sandwiches.

By the time Sunday came, we were all checking the clock to see how much time we had left with him and would then run to go play with him some more. When it was time for him to go, we had 4 very sad children. Two were crying and giving hugs, not wanting to let go. One was crying, "don't want to leave! Don't want to go! Want to stay here!"

It was very hard to say goodbye.

It was a good experience and I am glad we had it. We learned a lot about how it feels and what it's like having a child from DCF come into our home. Honestly, it's hard for me to put into words.

But it was hard. It was hard knowing he wouldn't get to stay.

Even though it was painful to say goodbye, we are all changed by this experience, changed by him, changed by opening our home and our hearts to this boy. We are hopeful that one of these days, we will get a child or two or three, and not have to say goodbye.