Wednesday, May 23, 2012

broken in

We've officially been "broken in" as a foster family (I typed "foster parents" first, but now I know this is a whole family deal.) We took care of a sweet two year old girl for the last five days. Not our first call, but the first one that's actually worked out! We knew very little about her home situation--only that she was the youngest of a sibling group, and that they were removed from the home because of neglect. We saw such a wide range of personality from her--quiet, subdued and a little stunned at first, then cautious but playful, then full of more grief than I've ever seen from someone that age, then silly, giggly, and a little bossy (she did her best to keep Silas in line--no easy task :) It was truly amazing watching her come out of her shell and slowly get more comfortable, although she pretty much never left my side unless she was sleeping. We mostly stayed at home, except for an outing to church and taking Nicky to and from school. I learned that having two toddlers at one time is a CHALLENGE. Wow. It was pretty non-stop, and when it did stop, I was either hurriedly folding laundry or sneaking out to go grocery shopping or falling asleep (usually falling asleep).

We finally got sand for our sandbox, and at first she cried when I put her feet in the sand. Soon, she was fighting for her right to shovel.

I feel like now I understand how hard this is. We can do it, but it's not going to be easy. It was heart-wrenching returning her to CYFD yesterday (she and her siblings are being placed with relatives). Even though I'm so glad she gets to be with them, and we knew that was the most probable outcome, it was still so, so hard. She started sobbing uncontrollably when she saw her family, and again I was overwhelmed by how much grief a two year old child can hold.

I keep going over little moments in my mind. I'll never forget how delighted she was to see herself in the mirror after I did her hair, or the sound of her laugh, or how she kept her sippy cup cradled under one arm at all times, how she kept track of Silas' shoes and brought Ricky his flip-flops to wear on Sunday morning, how she warmed up to Nicky right away. 

I fell in love with her. My heart is broken for her. I hope and pray life treats her well; that she gets a chance.

So now, we wait for the next call; a little sadder and wiser I suppose. 

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