The last 6 weeks have been a roller coaster of emotions. Every time I wanted to sit down (as if moms get 'time' to sit) and write an update something else came up. I had to write an update for the kids, a kid needed something, hubby needed something, mom needed something, or I fell asleep.
We were so glad to finally have a placement. I love the kids we received. God put them here to challenge not only hubby and myself, but also my children. When God said 'these are your kids,' we listened. One thing I didn't ask Him was 'how long do we have them?' Well, as of yesterday, we no longer have them. Just one day shy of 6 weeks.
Week 1 was busy, but good. We had VBS all week. We also had a family visit this week.
Week 2 was just as busy, traumatic, but also good. This was the week of sports camp. Also, the week that the dog died.
Week 3 was full of settling in and gathering supplies. We had some great fellow home school families who gave us a bunch of toys and clothes. My little baby boy was given so much clothing and so many pair of shoes I couldn't find a place for all of them. We also had a visit this week. We will do this every other week. This week we experienced a lot of testing. We started in with the disobedience and lying. A lot of it. This is very ordinary behavior for a 5 and 7 year old, but there was a lot more than I remember from my other three at this age.
Week 4 - There is going to be a lot of testing this week. They left their last home at this point. It is a fresh trauma.Traumas come in so many varieties, especially with children. They experience a loss of family, friends, security, hope..... When the anniversary of that trauma comes around they tend to have reactions. We expected Little M to act out more than usual. Why? Just to see if we would send her away. It's a sad thought. We can't understand what goes on in a child's head, we can't even expect the child to completely understand what is going on in their little head.
Sunday - we went to fireworks. We were rolling down a hill. Little M ran into a sign while rolling. I took my eyes off baby T for 60 seconds while I checked on little M. I forgot how fast 5 year olds run. Baby T decided to follow big brother. He was gone before I realized it. We had many officers looking for baby T. Once he was found, Baby T had no idea he did anything wrong. The rule is stay with mom or Big Boy. He was with Big Boy. Long story short, we got a toddler leash. I never liked those things before. Now I see the necessity. We call it what it is - a leash. He loves it! He knows that this is safe and wants to wear it. I will hold the leash.
Friday - July 4th. We spent the entire day at the park. I enjoyed watching the kids play with the other children at the park (thousands of people there). Even with the horrible storm, the fireworks were fantastic and the children enjoyed themselves. I was getting text messages from my mom all day regarding the health of my grandmother. I knew she wasn't doing well, but I wasn't sure about leaving the park to go see her. We will definitely see her tomorrow.
Saturday - I took the girls to cooking class and hubby took the boys to the Home Depot build. I get a call from mom and rush right home. Hubby made arrangements for respite for the little ones and dropped them off. I took the big kids to go see great grandma. They needed to say good bye. A few hours later, she was gone.
Week 5 - This entire week was full of planning for my grandmothers memorial. There was a lot of work to be done. Not only was there stuff to do with her estate, the funeral home, and a memorial here here in Houston, we were also planning a memorial in Seattle where the rest of our family is. The kids took it ok. They tried my patience often, but that is to be expected. These precious little ones want to know they are loved, they have boundaries, and that I am not going to send them away.
Week 6 - we had another VBS. This week was a lot easier, until Friday.
My kids were taken away today.
Not only have these kiddos experienced a lot of loss, but they have experienced so many new traumas in the last six weeks with us. Unfortunately they were not things I could protect them from. They were things that come with life. At the same time, the five of us experienced a trauma when they left. Those were my kids. I didn't have to give birth to them. I didn't need to change diapers or give bottles. I know it was only
weeks, but we were so fully invested in every part of their lives that my heart was ripped out when they left.
I really don't know how foster parents do this every day. I'm not strong enough to do this alone. Even with all the 'groundings' and time outs, the kids didn't want to go. All I can do now is pray. This was not my plan, but God has another plan for our family. It's easy to say, but I still cry (it's only been 48 hours). I know those babies are with family, my family was able to love them and teach them until the family was ready.
This journey is not over - not by a long shot.