Thursday, June 28, 2012

and so it begins...

Well it took 2 weeks to the day to get our first placement.  We are now caring for a 3 1/2 year old boy and his 2 1/2 year old sister (who we will call Jr and Sissy for privacy issues).  And it has been quite a week!  First, let me say that we are overwhelmed (in a good way) with all the support we have received from our church, friends, and family.  We are involved in the Orphan Care Ministry at our church and we have had people we don't even know just drop things off on our doorstep, packages mailed to the has been truly amazing to see God work through everyone that has supported us.  We have people praying for us, meals being brought to us, and everything the kids could possibly need and more being donated...we are so blessed to have such a great community!!  We have truly experienced God taking care of our every need!

Ok, so on to the kids...

They are precious.  It's probably a lot easier for me to say that right now as they are both opposed to being woken up in the middle of the night to un-consolable crying :)  Just kidding, they are truly wonderful.  I can't even imagine how hard it is to go through what they have gone through.  Then to be put into a house with a "schedule" and being told to follow a "routine," with things like "rest time" and "eating at the table."  They have really done a great job adjusting to structure...lucky (or maybe un-lucky) for them they were placed in the house of a Kindergarten teacher, with maybe too much structure :)  And it's not just the kids that are doing the adjusting around here...the adults and doggies are adjusting right along with them!  We have had our "what in the world have we done??" moments, and judging by these pictures, so have the dogs...

Clark? Are you still alive??

I know Rox, me too

Here are just a few of the highlights, and "low-lights," of our week (FYI it is now bedtime...I'm also adjusting to my snipits of peace and quiet where I can do things like write a this could be brief):

1.  the best part of my day is when Dave gets home from work and both kids drop whatever they are doing and run (and jump) into his arms...this is pure awesomeness for so many reasons, but mainly I'm just so happy that they have an adult male in their life that loves them and cares for them the way he does
2.  my new nickname, KiKi...which was given on Day 2 when I was tired of being "HEY!" because they couldn't say "Kristy"...also, Jr. pronounces his /k/'s as /t/'s and so it's "TeeTee" to him; Dave once tried to call me "TeeTee in front of him, to which Jr. yelled "NO! it's TEE-TEE!!" it
3.  seeing how much they have learned, or picked up on, in just 1 week...they are learning how to count, name colors, sing kid songs, say prayers, share their toys, LISTEN and obey "TeeTee"....they are really picking up quickly for only being here a week....even their CPS case manager commented on that today
4.  being able to stay home with them for 2 weeks and build a strong bond and relationship to them...and have play dates with friends...and I finally have an excuse to try all the pinterest "activities" that are pinned on my "kids" board :)
5.  exposing them to new foods, places, people who care about them, and a different of living (it's just crazy what kinds of food they don't even know the name of)
6.  seeing their great big smiles and knowing there is a fun, loving, playful attitude inside both of them, even though sometimes they have to be too tough to show us that side of them
7.  realizing that even though they can be tough to handle at times, i am loving them more and more each day
8.  getting to parent with my wonderful is truly a blast, and i don't know how people do it alone
9.  even though we haven't done a lot of this yet because we truly are just trying to survive this adjustment period, I know the best part of this all will be teaching them about Jesus and how much God loves them...they already show excitement and interest in praying as they are beginning to repeat our prayers (literally, as we are saying them) that we say at meal time and bedtime

I know I could think of more, but after going to bed last night at 4AM due to a trip to the ER (Jr had an asthma attack) and the stress of their first "visit day" today, my mind is a little shot.  So, briefly, here is what is the not-so-fun side of fostering...some of which we knew to expect, but most not the extent that we have discovered:

1.  speaking of visit day - visit day really stinks; I took them for the first time today, and it is nothing but uncomfortable, awkward, and awful.  The kids have no idea what is going on and why they got to see their mom, aunt, and grandma for 1 hour today, and why they can't go back home after this visit.  The mom needs someone to blame right now, so of course that is me right now and makes for a super uncomfortable time of dropping off and picking up the kids at the CPS office.  Visit day really just magnifies all the brokenness that is foster care, and it ain't at all pretty.  FYI, as far as we know these kids will see their mom once a week and their plan is reunification - which is usually the plan for kids entering the system...they have a court date set for Monday, so we may know more of how it looks after that...but then again, probably not.
2.  bedtime - i'm sure this is a struggle for most parents, but it's so hard to find the balance between establishing boundaries or rules and comforting them when they truly are just missing their home in this situation (Jr has a pretty hard time being alone at night, or anytime really)
3.  my nickname Kiki - when Sissy says it 57 times in 1 minute
4.  introducing structure to kids who have had zero structure....this can be very draining
5.  trying to set up doctor appointments, dentist appointments, and figuring out daycare all in 2 weeks...ahhhh! 
6. hopefully this will turn into a highlight, but for now - learning how to take care of their skin, but more importantly and wayyyyy more stresseful HER hair.  my heart starts beating a little faster when we walk by an African American woman when we are out in public...I just want to tell her - "I promise I'm trying!!  I've read blogs and watched YouTube videos....I'll get better!!"

Mainly we just feel really blessed to be able to parent these kids for however long God would have us do that.  We know we have a lot to learn, and I'm so thankful for great friends who have walked this road before us and can give us support and advice when we need it.  I wonder how many times I will say this throughout this blog, but we could not do this without our community supporting us and just showing up.  God is so good, and it's been an amazing experience so far.

Love you guys!


  1. So excited for you! And, hey, another family we know has an African-American daughter and has posted on their blog about her hair (and other race issues, of course). Here's a link!

  2. love you Kiki you are rocking it! so are you Dave. What a blessing it has been to watch you guys start to parent these kiddos! So proud!