For many years, we were a foster family. When people learned this about us, we would inevitably hear “I don’t know how you can do that. We could never let them go.” Trust me when I say that letting them go was the easy part. I’m not going to go into more detail in this post, but perhaps I will someday. This journal entry provides a simple illustration of just how easy it is to love a child, even when you know it’s for a short amount of time.
If you didn’t think I was nuts before, and more than just a few steps beyond normal, this should paint the right picture for you. I have five kids living in my house and I just got a sixth. A three-year-old cutie, he is only a very short term placement. His parental rights have been terminated and I think they have already found an adoptive placement. When the home check clears, he’ll move on with his life.
We have a fairly large house but the two youngest boys, ages 3 & 4, share a room, and I put the newest toddler in with them. Their room is right over mine and I can hear their feet hit the floor if they get out of bed. Fortunately, both of them are good, sound sleepers, something I envied, and I was hoping the same would be true of the new guy.
Last night, not long after I went to bed, I heard a loud thump. I went upstairs and, sure enough, the new kid had fallen out of his toddler bed. I tucked him in again, and was just ready to doze off, when…thump. After the 3rd time, I folded a blanket and put him on the floor, hoping that the dust bunnies would behave.
All was quiet until 3:30 a.m., when he came pounding down the stairs, somewhat hysterical. He was muttering about monsters under the bed and, in my half-asleep state, I pulled him into bed with me, too tired to deal with another trip up the stairs. He rooted around and, in seconds, he had stolen my pillow, my covers, and my heart. His feet had obviously been dreaming in a snow bank, his toes were that cold. His snoring made my father look like an amateur. I’m sorry, but I have found a new love!
My last coherent thought before I slept, a small hand held in mine, was that the dust bunnies deserved a reward. We wouldn’t be cleaning anytime soon.