Hooligan Zoo

Two Zookeepers… many Hooligans… It's always feeding time at this zoo!

And then there were Seven

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I’m sitting here in front of the blank screen of my laptop, watching the cursor flashing, and trying to figure out how to put into words the feelings and emotions surrounding the expansion of our family.

A few weeks ago, standing in front of our family, our church, our loved ones, we promised the Lord that we would do our very best to raise these two babes in His name, knowing Him, and loving Him.  Our families, church and blood, also promised to help us do so.

It was a beautiful and emotional service.  I felt the weight of the responsibility, and then the easing of it, as I settled into the knowledge that we would not have to do this alone.

Yesterday, in a quick and crazy ceremony at the courthouse, we legally and officially made Zayda and Kai a permanent part of our family.

People keep telling me how lucky these kids are.  How great it is that they get to stay with us, but I keep thinking about how lucky WE are to have THEM.  They chose us.  God chose them for us.  He made it happen so that we would be given the privilege and honour of raising them.

As foster parents, we teach our foster babes to call us Uncle and Aunt.  From the beginning, Zayda always refused to call us that.  I would try to get her to say, “Auntie Jamie,” and she would gently pat my cheek, saying, “Momma.”  She knew from the beginning that she was ours and that we were hers.

Yesterday, at the courthouse, surrounded by (some) of our amazing family, blood and chosen, there was laughter, there were tears, and there was an inexplicable feeling of joy, of finality.

The judge insisted on shaking the hand of every one of our loved ones in attendance, he wanted to know who they were, and what brought them to be part of our special day.  He gave each of the little ones a beautiful stuffed animal as a gift, and was beaming the entire time.  As much as he made our day, I think we brought some joy and light into his as well.

Underlying that joy, at the same time, I couldn’t help but have a piece of my heart that was broken for the littles’ biological mom.

On this day of greatest joy, of acceptance, of gain, she would only receive loss and grief.

She gave birth to these children.  She then, in love, gave these children to us.  She gave us the greatest gift that she could possibly give, and I will forever love her for that.  She is a lovely woman, and we have the privilege of continuing to know her, and of continuing to be able to have her a part of our lives.  Her story, and her children’s story is not mine to tell, but I will say this, she loves her children so very much, and that is obvious in every interaction that we have with her.

This story isn’t just about us, about the gift that was given to us, but it is also about loss and tragedy.  About the failure of a broken system.  And I am torn between my joy at our gain, and my sadness at her loss.

I always come back to this quote,

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We have been given the responsibility, the joy, the hardships, the aches, the complete and utter beautiful privilege of raising five children.  Five different and loved children, who, whether they were born to us or whether they were adopted, ultimately belong to the Lord. And the Lord, even knowing us as we are, even knowing our faults and our struggles, trusts us enough to give us His children to raise.

I am so thankful.

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When it has to be hard.

A year and a half ago, we got a phone call from real estate agent.  She told us that since the house we were living in was for sale, she needed to show it the next day.

We hadn’t been told the house was for sale.

We had been there for seven years.

It felt like a betrayal at the time, we had thought we had a good relationship with our landlady, and the fact that she hadn’t even bothered to tell us that the house was for sale was a huge blow.

Less than six weeks later it had sold.

And we not only had a new baby placed with us, but we were soon going to be homeless.

After some significant panicking, a lot of tears, hunting on kijiji, being told no for a mortgage by every single major bank in the area (we had no credit.  Not bad credit, but no credit at all…  they would have worked with us if we had have had bad credit.), we finally found another house to rent.

It was a hard year.  A year where I felt like the Lord just wasn’t hearing me.  Where we had been pushed to the side, left in this purgatory, too far from what had been our home base for years and years, but not stable enough to create a new home base.

But then, oh then, we had the opportunity to apply for a down payment loan from the City.  I called wonderful Trudy, asked her how she felt about racing to buy a house, and she immediately said that she was all in.

The City loan is really a fantastic thing.  There are rules to follow, and it really is a first come thing.  28 people applied for 16 loans this year.  The most applicants they’ve ever had.  We were approved, and the hunting began in earnest.

Trudy drove everywhere for us.  She was a sometimes irritatingly encouraging rock of support.  When I just wanted to curl up in the corner, and resign myself to living where we were forever, she dragged me out again, always saying that this might be the one!

And then.  After a frantic couple of months, we found the house.

It was the very first house that both Jason and I loved.

It had been sitting on the market for more than a year.

It was within our price range.

We made a non-negotiable offer.  There were only two loans left for the taking at City Hall.  We needed to get an accepted conditional offer to them asap.

Waiting on the other agent was excruciating.

Then there was one loan left.

In spite of the other agent being told the urgency of the situation, our offer had still not been presented to the sellers.

And then we got the call that all the loans were gone.

We had missed out by about two hours, and now all of the loans were gone.

But the Lord, oh the Lord.  He wanted us to know that we were foolish to think we could do this without him.  He stepped in and a couple of days later we got notification that the City had FOUND MORE MONEY.

A government agency had found more money.

And it was ours.

And this house.  Oh this house.  We both fall in love with it more and more every day.  It’s the perfect balance between livable and needing some work.  Livable for me, stuff to work on for Ja.

Some days I wander around this 120 year old house, and I think about how the Lord knew, how he knew when it was built that one day we would write our story on top of the other stories already here.

There were a few other things that crazily happened that the Lord had his hands all over.  In such an obvious way.

My favourite bible verse, and one that for some reason I had forgotten through the past year of uncertainty,

When you go through deep waters,
    I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
    you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
    you will not be burned up;
    the flames will not consume you.

Isaiah 43:2

As believers, we are not promised an easy life.  We are not promised that because we believe, the Lord will wipe away all of our troubles, and make it a cake walk.  In fact, we are promised that there will be trouble.  It is going to be hard.  We will struggle.  But.  He is with us.  Always.

I needed to Be still.  I needed to know that He is God.  I needed to see Him in this.  I had forgotten, and I needed it to be hard in order to jolt us out of our complacency, to take steps, to lean on Him, and to trust Him.

That’s the hardest part of being a Christ follower for me.  The trust part.  The Being Still part.

But when we trust?  That’s when we really see Him.  That’s when we find Home.
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The Wrap that Beat them All

 

Let’s talk about wraps for a minute, shall we?

I’ve been mocked about my, er, stash of wraps…  Mocked fairly mercilessly, in fact, in spite of being able to tell you in detail why I “need” every single one of them.

((ahem, hike?  Blues hemp indio.  Out on the town? Size 4 Girasol.  Quick in and out?  Robbins Nest Weaving grad dyed Ring sling.  Headed to the beach?  Chimparoo Fiesta.))

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The very very small stash we took to Great Wolf Lodge Recently.  (Shorter Girasol, I forget the name, Chimparoo Fiesta, Didy Hemp Blues Indio, Two ring slings, and a Lenny Lamb Buckle.  Not pictured, a Mai Tei for using in the water.)

((These are mere examples…  I would be happy to go into more details on each and every carrier in my stash if need be…  in fact, sometimes I do that for Ja.  Just to make sure he understands the importance.))

Babywearing is such a big part of what we do as foster parents.  It’s been an amazing bonding tool for the babes we’ve had come through our home.  I honestly can’t think of one child that has joined our family for any length of time that hasn’t been able to reap the benefits and security of being worn.  It soothes the hurts that child is suffering, the withdrawal from the only life they’ve ever known, the missing of their parents, the shock of being put with complete strangers.  As such, we have been gifted with a few different wraps, ring slings, and etc. which has enabled us to pass some carriers on to the forever families where our babes have ended up.

We’re right now in the process of adopting two of our foster toads (look for a post about that later…) Foster toads that have been worn regularly since the moment they came into our home.

But this.  Oh this.

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This wrap.

This wrap is handwoven by a wonderful friend of mine.  A friend I’ve watched grow her business from a little bitty bit of an operation, to one where she has to hire help.  A friend who whenever I say, CRISIS!  Helps to hold me up.  Who weeps with me when our little ones leave.  Who rejoices when we decide to adopt, and fully supports that decision.  Who in spite of her own goings on, always, always makes time to chat… even if it’s just to make each other laugh.

Rebecca owns Robbins Nest Weaving, and in SPITE of the fact that I do some sewing for her, she kept this warp a complete and total secret.  For months I’ve been teasing her that her next warp should be a blue/green grad, with a rainbow down one side.  I’ve always loved blue and green together, and the bible says that the rainbow is a promise from God.  For me, in the case of adoption, the rainbow symbolizes our promise to the little ones.  Our promise to try our best to be the rainbow after the storm of their early lives.

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She sent me the pictures and broke the news on a hard day.  And this wrap?  This wrap beats all of the wraps.

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The texture on this is so nice to the touch.  It’s an all cotton pebble weave bit of gorgeousness.  It grips, and yet tightens like a dream.  Ace bandage comes to mind when I try and think of wrap qualities for this beauty.  That boy there?  He’s a tank, and he was virtually weightless on my back when I wrapped him the very first time.

He cried when I took him down that first day.

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Pie keeps stealing the wrap and wanting to put her bear “huppy.”

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((can you have TOO many pics of a gorgeous wrap?  I’m going to go with no.))

Did I mention that Rebecca called this wrap “Adoption?”  Doesn’t it go hand in hand with the rainbow symbol?  Such a promise.  Such a responsibility.

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This wrap epitomizes for me the feelings around adopting these babes.  They are ours.  They were ours the moment they walked through the door, just like all of the others.  We have wrapped all of our babies in loving arms, and had to let so many of them go.  But these ones?  These ones we don’t have to let go of.  These two we are privileged to make permanent parts of our family.  And they are, they so are.

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Thank you, Rebecca, for this wonderful and tangible celebration of our family.  “Adoption” will always remind me of the privilege, tragedy, and promise that adoption is.  It is amazing, and much like I cherish your friendship, I will cherish this wrap always.

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The Other Side

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That little guy up there, he was only supposed to be with us for 6 weeks, but was instead with us for 7 months.  He was 4 months old when he came to us, and is almost one now.

He left us on Monday, picked up amongst many tears from us, and from the workers, and was placed in what everyone is hoping will be his forever home.

The transition took place over about 6 weeks.  He gradually spends more and more time with his family, spends overnights, and then he’s just gone from us.

Those 6 weeks are some of the hardest that we ever do as a foster family.  You have this deadline of them leaving you hanging over your head.  You have no control over where they go.  If you’re especially lucky, you have amazing workers (we did) who continuously seek your input as you have contact with where the child is going.

So, just about every day over those six transition weeks, we are packing up the babe who has become a HUGE part of our family, all for the purpose of allowing him to transfer that trust to someone else.  We know from the moment that a child comes into our house, that they will be leaving.  That doesn’t make it easier when they leave.

Ephraim has the most outwardly hard time with transition.  He acts up a little, is more weepy…  Talya will have her brief moments, and then go off and flit around the way she does.  Zi is the most verbal.  She outright says, “this sucks.”  Cries a little, spends a LOT of time with the little one in question.

Our job as foster parents is to love these kids as if they are our own, knowing all the time that they will be leaving us.  People talk a lot about how awesome it is for the kids in our care that we do this, but I think that we are equally benefited.

It’s incredible to us that we are given the privilege of seeing their milestones, soothing their hurts, in some cases, helping them catch up a little.  We truly believe that it’s a privilege.  When the child’s family can’t give them what they need, we’re able to for the short time that they’re with us.

The benefits to us as a family, and to our kids?  Oh man.  I have seen our kids grow and become such giving little creatures.  They instantly accept every single child that comes into our house.  Without question.  That child becomes a part of our family right away.

Our kids do diapers, they rock to sleep, they do bottles.  They don’t complain.  They love it.  And they miss them when they aren’t here.

8 foster kids have come through our house in less than 2 years.  And it still isn’t any easier when they leave.

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The Pit

A good Princess Bride reference is always a great way to start off a blog post, don’t you think?

I fell into the Pit last week.  Winter is always hard for me, lack of sun, cold, being trapped but not wanting to go anywhere…  it usually results in a slow slide into the pit, and by February, I’m mired in the ooze at the bottom, and can’t see a way to get out.

I was shoved in last week.  There was no gradual slipping down the edge, no partway down, and able to climb back out, nothing like that.  It was a full on push, and then a slam right into the middle of that deep dark pit.

It’s not cool to be in the pit.

When you’re in the pit, you can’t see a way out.

There are no ladders down there, no light, no hope, nothing.

Everyone hates you when you’re in the pit.  No one cares.  Everything is out to get you, and everyone wants something from you, but isn’t willing to give anything in return.  You’re all by yourself down there…  and no one really cares.

When I’m in the pit, I stop answering emails, I don’t answer the phone, I hardly speak to anyone.  It’s all I can do to engage with the ones that are around me.  It’s not a cool place to be, the pit.

I managed to get out of that one, but I can feel it, I can feel the pit lurking on the edge of my consciousness.

I’m just hoping and praying that I don’t fall in again…

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Where are we now?

No no, we have not physically moved anywhere…  but seeing as my last post was…  Oh, in June… I thought a wee little update might be in order!

I don’t even know where to start, actually.  Perhaps bullet points are the way to go, with longer posts coming later?

  • hooligans are huge.  12, 11, 8!!
  • fostergans – we have a 10 month old boy who we’ve had for 6 months, and a 20 month old little girl that we’ve had for about 8 months.
  • Homeschool – trucking along.  Still pretty Charlotte Mason, still glad (for the most part) that this is our decision.  Still occasionally yearn to just send them out to the big yellow bus, and not worry about any of it…
  • Babywearing.  Oooeee, this needs a post of its own for sure!  I’m now a Certified Babywearing Educator, I have my own facebook page, I’m all official!  Wheeee!!
  • Still married.  For better or for worse, right?

We’re heading into the Christmas season, and I have really been missing writing.  But, my goodness, am I ever rusty.  I’m HOPEFUL that I will have the wherewithal to actually make it back here to do some proper posting!

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Believe it or not, we are not heartless.

“I would love to foster, but I don’t think I could ever let the kids go.”
“I don’t know how you let them go.”
“I couldn’t do that. I couldn’t send them on.”

We hear stuff like this ALL the time. A friend said to me yesterday that someone said to her that she didn’t know how we can let the kids go, and my friend was mad. Mad that it implies that we are heartless people, mad that it implies that we don’t care, that it implies that we can just have kids come in and go, with no feelings whatsoever.

It so isn’t true. We grieve. Our hearts break. There are tears for a long time after someone leaves us. It is so hard, so very very hard.

But, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t necessary. Fostering is hard, yes, so many parts of it are hard, but that doesn’t make it not worthwhile. Doesn’t make us cold and heartless for being able to let them go.  God doesn’t only ask us to do the easy things.

Yesterday we said goodbye to a wee little thing that had been with us for 7 months. We’d been through a lot with this little girl. Two, almost three, hospital visits for respiratory issues. Lots and lots of access. Typical baby stuff.

We watched her grow from this wee little thing who just laid on the floor, to the terror that she is today. Crawling like a maniac, getting into things, bullying the other little girl we have now. We got to see her personality develop like crazy.

Sleepless nights, feedings, diapers, we did all of that. We loved her like she was our own, while always remembering that we would one day have to let her go.

And let her go we did. It took five weeks to transition her back to her parents. Parents who Ja and I both like very much, parents who themselves had a crappy start in life, spending most of it in foster care themselves. Parents who are trying very hard to be the parents that the toad needs them to be.

My anxiety level grew as we got closer to the “official” date to have her go home.

Zi, at one point during the transition, commented that she wished Toad was just gone. Because then the pain could stop.

Eph said yesterday that it’s so hard, but it’s totally worth it.

A friend sent me this fantastic article, and this part really touched me,

I texted my friend, Nancy: “Why are we doing this again? It hurts so bad.”

Nancy: “Because if we aren’t there to be Jesus with skin on, his mom may have never felt Jesus’ hands and feet restoring her family and those kids may have never felt safe and clean and loved and valued. It does hurt. Praise God that your heart is still tender for these kids and not calloused!”

The most common misconception about foster parents is that they have hearts made of steel. I can assure you that this heart is not made of steel. It’s tender and bruised. But I have a God bigger than the hurt. A God who comforts me, heals me, and prepares me to love another child in need. A God who uses my hands and feet to point to Jesus.

God gave us an incredible support group.  We had so many people checking in on us yesterday, and a wonderful friend not only brought dinner (and icecream!), but also sent me this email today;

God understands more than anyone the sacrifice you have made and how your heart aches giving up these precious munchkins. Can you imagine what it must have been like for Him to turn Jesus over to the likes of us! One day He will heal your heart, hold you in His arms and thank you for caring for His babies.

And you know what?  They’re all His babies.  Yours, mine, the ones that just pass through here for a short time, they’re all His.

Yes, it IS hard to let them go.  It’s one of the hardest things that we’ve ever had to do as a family.  It hurts us more than I can say.  The tears that we shed are many.  It creates an ache in my heart that doesn’t ever go away.  But?  My God is big.  He is bigger than all of it.  And He keeps us going until the next child comes, and we are able to soothe the hurt with the ability to help and love someone else who needs it.

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6 Months, 6 Kids

I started this post many months ago, and am only just now feeling prepped to finish it…

This foster parent thing is quite the ride, I tell ya. Full of ups and downs, falling in love, letting go… exhaustion, worry… really all of the things that you experience being a regular parent as well.

I think the difference with the foster thang, as we like to call it, is that you’re loving these kids IN ORDER to let them go. We’re the stopping place. We’re the place where we try to fill them up with as much good stuff, love, stability, food, as we can, before they go on somewhere else. Whether that’s home, to an adoptive family, or what have you.

When we signed those papers back in May, we were sure that it was going to be eons of time until we got the call for our first little charge. It was, in fact, 5 days before we had our first placement. Four weeks later we had our second little charge, a week after that, our first charge went home, and then a week after that, we had a second little boy placed with us. That gave us a 17 month old boy, and a 15 month old boy at the same time.

The boys, Thing 1 and Thing 2 were with us for 5 months.

Thing 2 got to go and live with an aunt, and Thing 1 was adopted into an absolutely amazing family.

He was third generation to grow up in the system, his grandmother and his mother both grew up in foster care. Since he was placed with us, our entire church family was praying for him. For his new family. For God to touch his heart, and remain with him wherever he went.

When we got the call for the meeting to go and meet the potential adoptive parents, Ja commented that maybe it was the couple that we had taken the PRIDE course with. I laughed, because, obviously he was a foolish, foolish man, and there was no way that was possible.

Turns out, it was them! This wonderful Christian couple that we had really liked when we took the course. The woman and I hugged, with the adoption worker looking confused, caught up a little bit, and headed into the meeting.

I can’t tell their part of the story, but I do know this. She had been praying for faith. After so many years, years of infertility, years of trying to adopt, to finally get the call, she had been praying for faith that if this was God’s plan, it would happen. That she would have a sign. That it would be so obvious to her.

Later she said to me that it being us was the first sign. Then, the word faith kept coming up in the meeting, and her heart was singing, and she just knew that Thing1 was supposed to be hers.

We transitioned him to their home in a way that God could have only had his hand directly on. It was so smooth. The entire time, this couple were so kind and considerate as to OUR feelings, our hooligans feelings. They wanted to do everything possible to make it an easy transition for him to be in his forever home.

And, it really was. It felt so natural to be with them. The transfer of our little guys affections was seamless, and felt really right. I stopped being his momma, and truly, truly became Auntie Jamie.

Before the transition, when I got Thing 1 in trouble, he would run to her. Afterwards, when we were visiting about a month after the placement, she gave him trouble, and he ran to me!

We still see them and chat with them fairly frequently. In this case, I don’t feel like we lost a child at all, but more like we gained a family. They are very dear to us, and I still get goosebumps about the way the whole thing happened.

I know that God is always in control, that he can allow things to happen, but, I still get goosebumps when I tell this story and realize how very true that is. How none of this could have happened.

One of my Sunday School teachers said that she could one day see Thing 1 standing up in front of a group of people, telling his testimony, telling where he came from, how his cycle was broken. Gesturing at parents who have loved him unconditionally from the moment they first heard his name.

His new mom and I both hold that picture in our hearts. I can’t wait to see it actually happen.

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And then we let him go.

I guess it’s been about a month now since our first little foster hooligan went home.  I think I might be ready to talk about it.

The entire experience was so positive, so wonderful, so great, that we have since then been suckered into taking in two toddlers…  One 14 months, one 17 months.  Whew.  That’s a story for another post that I’ll probably write in a month or two given my current writing track record.

But oh, little C.  You fiery adorable little thing.  

When Ja walked in the door every night, there was a squeal of “JAY!” and instantly needing a snuggle.  His bedtime routine included a good snuggle, and when asked after the story what it was time for, he would enthusiastically yell, “BOBBLE!”  The only one he got for the day.

The obsession with Thomas trains.  The refusal to drink water unless it was slightly coloured….  

I knew that he was going home on the Friday that he did.  It was something I could just feel.  I was actually rooting for his dad in court that day, basing my thoughts on my gut feeling, conversations with him, his interactions with his son.  Even the worker was hopeful that he would go back to his dad.

We kept busy the day of the court proceedings.  Visiting friends, waiting for that phone call.  The call came around lunchtime that we were to bring him back to the Access Centre at 4.  Dad would be there, and to make sure that we packed all of C’s things.

Even that part was hard, packing everything up.  His little clothes that we had bought for him, toys, books, we packed everything into a big duffle bag.  A very very full duffle bag.  His life book, extra pictures of his time with us.  All of those little things that we found all over the house that were a piece of him embedded in our family.  It all had to go with him.

The kids spent a concerted amount of time playing with him that last day.  Doing whatever he wanted.  Making him laugh that big deep down belly toddler laugh over and over and over. 

When it was time to go, we spent ten minutes, made a circle around him, and all of us prayed over him.

Talya prayed that he would miss her.

Eph prayed that he would always remember him, and that he would be safe and happy.

Zi prayed that he would always love books, and that he would be safe and happy.

I prayed that we would have had an impact, that the Lord would grow that little seed in his heart.  That he would remember that we prayed every night with him, that we gave thanks for him.

We all cried.  

We packed everyone up and off we went to the centre.  I was so determined not to cry.  It was such a mixed round of feelings too, I was very very happy for his dad.  I knew that he belonged with his dad.  I knew that he needed to be with his dad, and I had that gut feeling that this was a good thing.

At the same time, I was so sad that he was leaving us.  The toddler spa wouldn’t happen with him demanding the nighttime cream on every leg, on his back, on his tummy.  He wouldn’t name all of the Thomas trains for us anymore.  He just wouldn’t BE here on a daily basis.  I was sad for us, but happy for him and his dad.

I made it all the way to the centre without crying.  Our little guy’s worker met us in the parking lot, and I just lost it.  She was so kind and gentle… gave me a hug.  Dad pulled up not long after, saw me all teary, and said, “Oh, you’re not supposed to be CRYING!”  Gave me a big hug too, and started crying himself!  

By the end, after the little guy was all buckled into his dad’s van, his dad’s carseat, we’re all crying, he’s bewildered at the tears, phone numbers have been exchanged, Dad was so incredibly grateful that we took good care of his son, I thanked him for being so wonderful to us, told him that he had ruined us for ALL other interactions with future bio parents… 

… and then he was just gone.

The worker stayed with me for a few minutes, hugged me again, and then she said something that I will never forget.  I had commented that I hoped it gets easier, sending the kids on.  

She responded with, “You know, Jamie, I really hope that it never gets easier for you.  I hope that you always care this much.  It means that you are really doing your job when you welcome these kids into your home, and love them enough that it hurts to let them go.  I hope it is always this hard to let them go.”

And that was it.  We went home.  Had some family time.  

And woke up the next day to a quieter house.

((until we got the call three days later to take in a second baby….))

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Personality Explosion!

It’s funny, we’ve had this little guy for almost a month now…  we thought in the beginning that he was settling in really fine.  He was pretty smiley and content with us from the very beginning.  Not too shy…  he seemed to be eating okay, although he does turn his nose up at water.  (Hint: two little drops of juice, just enough to colour the water, and he’s good to go!)

 
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A friend of ours said that she always thought it was interesting how foster kids that her sister had would really blossom over the time that they were there.  That they would just really come alive and explode with personality.  At first I thought that wasn’t going to happen here, because we had already started out on a good footing…

But, the past week and a half or so, my goodness.  We’ve had a few tantrums (I took markers away that were being used to colour on the wall… I know, mean, right?), which is really a good thing.  It means he feels safe.  It means he feels comfortable.  And that is exactly what we want for him while he’s here.

On top of the tantrums, oh my goodness can this boy eat.  And eat.  And eat.  His personality has exploded in ways I couldn’t even imagine.  He laughs, initiates games with us, loves to snuggle.  Reads books, comes to us when he wants something, and seriously, the belly laugh bears mentioning AGAIN.  It’s really incredible.

Our kids are enamoured.  We will all be very sad when he leaves us.  It’s all a learning process, this first little hooligan, for all of us.  Zi has learned to change diapers (she wanted to), Eph is LOVING having another boy around.  I’ll need a whole other blog post to tell about the amount of wrestling the two boys do.  Talya is absolutely thrilled to be a “big sister.”  She did tell Ja recently that it was hard though.  ;)

She’s the one who seems to be the most affected.  Talya is more clingy, more seeking out our attention.  She’s had a few jealous scuffles over toys, but that’s all to be expected.  We’re making extra effort to read to her, and listen to her, draw with her, those kinds of things.

All in all, still an excellent experience.  Even our interactions with the little guy’s parents have been really good.

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