~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Seven days have passed since I climbed the steps of another Foster mother’s home, accepted the entire belongings of a 3 and-a-half-year-old boy in a laundry bag and walked out the door with another woman’s son. To care for like our own, 24/7, as long as is needed.
Surreal. Exciting. Nerve-wracking. Confusing. Wonderful.
This ride started in September 2013. It is what Ice and I determined was next on our path as a family.
Our foster child, “C” , has adjusted fairly well to the fast-paced life of our household. He loves to eat (he fits right in!). He is very organized, carefully arranging his meal in front of him, letting me know when he accidentally drops food on the floor or determinedly putting on his shoes. He is thoughtful. Offering to help Little Bee with her coat. Or give her some of his breakfast. He is quieter, observant.
Naps no longer present an issue, he just lays downs and rests. Nighttime sleeping is met with the same ease.
Getting a handle on a new routine has been a process for all of us. I could fake it and get away with a lot with my little spitfire before. She traveled where I traveled and napped when we got home. She rolled with the ever-morphing routine and did so pretty seamlessly.
I now live and die by a very specific schedule. It is isolating. It is challenging. It is uncomfortable. At the same time it is liberating, dependable and my saving grace.
We spend a lot of time in the gym, my “home away from home” now. Not that I didn’t go pretty regularly before. But now it sets the tone for the entire day. I blow off some steam. They get to play with an exorbitant amount of toys we don’t have at home. I get a peaceful shower at the end of my workout. And without even knowing it, I’m working on the ever-elusive abs of steel. Pretty good gig, huh?
This adventure has been met with so much support and encouragement from family, friends and even strangers. I hear a lot of these comments.
“I couldn’t do what you’re doing.”
“It takes a special person…”
Truth be told, I do not feel very worthy of the comments or kudos. There are moments wrapped in every day where I ponder where will this lead? Do I have the stomach for this roller coaster? If he is placed elsewhere, are my kids capable to ride this ride? I guess that’s where the abs of steel will come in handy.
My multi-tasking hat just became a ten-gallon. And it’s getting bigger. Bee and “C” are thirteen months apart. I have a new and more complete understanding of what it takes to parent multiples (i.e., twins, triplets)! All I can say is it’s mind-bending.
Every day has a new hurdle. That’s true for everyone, I know. Mine currently includes getting peed on, endless time-outs, double the diaper changes and double the potty training efforts, a lack of social interaction by virtue of “the schedule”, the incessant reasoning attempts that occur to do the simplest of tasks, the decision to forgo an outing because it just won’t work out, chasing down toddlers (mostly my own) in public places or trying to navigate the behemoth of a double stroller in places where clearly such an awful thing was never meant to tread.
I find myself in a situation that is forcing me to be patient beyond what I feel I am capable. Pushing me to my limits of understanding and frustration daily. (My teeth actually hurt yesterday from gritting them so much.)
However, stepping back, knowing the little we do about C’s background, it feels good to provide the stability, consistency and discipline his life is lacking. He is such a sweet boy and has so much to teach us. When he says “Thank you!” and smiles his big pearly white smile, it melts my heart.
Without getting into the sensitive details, you can imagine my disappointment and surprise when I found out today that due to an issue, what we thought would be at least a six-month commitment to him (or more) may very well be cut short.
At the same time, I have had faith that Ice and I were brought to this experience for a reason I don’t fully comprehend. And I want to see it through. We asked for it, we got it.
Things worked out so well the last time an unexpected blessing entered our lives. (Ready to Let go of the Steering Wheel) I have to believe they will again. What other choice do I have?
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