Well I shared briefly in another post that we had done our foster care training (a dream of mine for many years) and were waiting to see what opportunities would come up and whether things would look how I expected.
Well as life goes things never really look quite like you expect and instead of taking on a little one as we had been thinking we have taken on a long term 11 year old placement. Hopefully a home for life but we aren’t making promises as there is nothing worse than telling a child that to only have that changed down the road. We have gone into it open to long term but will see how things play out over next couple of years. So far he is brilliant and I must say soooo much easier than another little one lol. My almost 2 year old keeps me busy right now! So we now have a 13 year old, 2 x 11 year olds, 9 year old and a 1 year old. A big bunch of boys 🙂 and no emotional drama (well if you don’t include the 1 year old haha).
So how did it come about…we took him in for a weekend of respite care and by the end of night one I was saying to hubby “shall we keep him?” I knew they were desperately looking for somewhere and had been for quite some time. Straight of the bat he came across as still a very childlike innocent 11 year old, not the hardened pre teen you might expect from years of foster care. He is attending a little country christian school and clearly quite sheltered from the ways of the world in some respects. A welcome thing as one of my concerns was what are they going to bringing into our house and talking to our boys about etc. The other concern and often something discussed is how will it affect the dynamics of the other children in the house. He fits very nicely maturity wise between our 11 year old and 9 year. Our 9 year old is thrilled to have a brother who still wants to do all the things he loves like Nerf wars, Lego and bike rides. The older boys are getting a little more peace from Mr 9 year old who was often trying to interest them in his pursuits. We haven’t had any squabbles yet and very rarely do with the boys. When one does arise I tend to step in and make a judgement call or occasionally have asked boys to separate and come back when they have a plan or compromise they both agree to. We have a very structured home in some areas which I think suits our newest member quite well as we were told he sees things very black and white.
My heart has melted on a couple of occasions already as I see him enjoying life here…having come from not such a great previous placement. The first was on Friday night when we have a pizza and movie night, before the movie we do something called what we love about the family where everyone takes turns to compliment one member of the family. Seem it was his first time here we chose him and we all showered him with what we liked about him, the oldest one saying he believed God had brought him to us (this meant a lot to me as I’m so grateful to see what nice open hearts they have). He grinned a warm grin through the whole thing and at the end said wow that was a lot of compliments!
The other was when he came up to me and gave me a spontaneous hug with a smile on his face…pretty good for day 4 🙂
Last night when saying goodnight I said to him we have really enjoyed having you here this week…and he replied I’m not just here for a week but a long time, again with a warm happy almost exicited grin on his face as he snuggled down. It brought a tear to my eye how these kids are looking for the comfort of a place to belong and feel safe.
In the last few years I have really become aware of the truth in the bible verse … “my yoke is easy and my burden is light” and have found when seeking what Gods plan is instead of my own ideas that it is easy and it doesn’t come with a feeling of a burden. I never would of planned on 3 step sons and a foster son but it comes with no burden and a fulfillment and satisfaction of the desires of my heart.