All of this cold weather has conjured up memories of when our foster children first arrived in our home. The day was similar to the weather we've been having now--cold and snowy.
Imagine being taken from your home by strangers, not know when you'd see your family again. Then, these strangers bring you to another home of strangers. How would you feel and what would you be thinking? This is exactly what happened to our foster children.
We got a phone call earlier in the week kindly asking if we would consider taking three children. Backing up just a bit, when we were approved to be foster parents we said we would take one child, and the county limit is 8 children in one home, that includes biological children as well as foster children. Now, you can imagine how taken aback I was when the case worker asked if we would consider three. Then she went on to talk about how it was a sibling group and there were twins. . . she pretty much and me at twins. I always wanted twins and our case worker knew this. They also know how to really get you to be these children's advocates. They totally knew how to work me over. How could I say no?
Now, where was I? We had an estimated date for when our three children would arrive, but it wasn't set in stone. (Yes, we said yes to taking in three children.) That day came and I hadn't heard anything, so we took off to run errands and attended story time. My children were finishing up their chores when I received and phone call. The case worker on the phone said, "We're on our way to your house." What? On the way?
All I could think to say was, "Ok! Wait!?! Where are you right now?" She said she was about 1/2 hour away. What? Did she really say 1/2 hour? I don't have beds for these kids. I forgot to ask what they were bringing with them. From past experience and training sessions I just assumed they were coming with the clothes on their back. I was right.
My children hovered around the windows waiting for a vehicle to pull into our driveway. They were so excited that they could hardly contain themselves. If you know my children you know that they love to have people visiting out home. They spotted a van pull into our driveway and before I knew it they had the front door wide open. What welcoming crew, right?
The children have arrived! Along with a couple case workers and two of their other siblings they were here. They were very reluctant to enter our home and clung close to each other. They didn't say a single word. I asked if they wanted to play with Legos or Little People and they just stared blankly. Poor things. My little children even began trying to get them to play with them, but they weren't having it. They just stood by the door being very cautious of their new surroundings. I can only imagine what was going through their minds.
There was finally a breaking point. Guess what it was? I offered them homemade chocolate chip cookies and shy smile appeared on their faces. Who can turn down homemade cookies? That little glimmer of hope in their eyes made everything just a little bit better. I think at that point they knew they were going to be ok.