We didn’t wait long after getting our foster license before we were placed with two adorable toddler sisters. However, just saying those words, “placed” are missing so much. It is so much more than a placement, it is an upheaval of our life as we knew it and so much more love in our hearts that we didn’t know we could give. We were new to fostering, so we had no clue what to expect, so I will start from the beginning.
Our license arrives in October of 2015, January of 2016 on my way to work I see a text come in from our Licensing Worker and I pull over in a Starbucks to read it. I am sitting in the parking lot staring at the text. “Are you able to take 2 AA sisters ages 1 and 2? We are looking for immediate placement.” I text her “I will get right back to you let me check with my husband and what is AA mean?” she replies “African American”. I call my husband and his response was, “This is what we were meant to do” however we were hoping for a single child, since we have our bio kids, but, he was right. This is what we were meant to do. So I text her back “Yes!” They were set to arrive later that afternoon. I went back home and waited… The caseworker arrived with these sweet, spunky and loud, little girls. No shoes, she had to stop and purchase them coats (January in the Midwest) and one car seat that we could borrow until she could hopefully get some of the supplies that a family member who had them prior to us, was given. I am not out to bash family placements, nor am I out to bash anyone in general, however babies and kids are in the system for a reason and these two little ones were now with us because their 2 younger siblings (6 month old twins) were literally starving because of them not being fed the right amount of formula or formula at all. Our little girls had marks on their body that looked like from cigarette burns. They had trauma issues that cropped up as time went on. Sweet little M, who was so loving, and would go to anyone that would hold her, could only babble and say mommy, however she was potty trained which was a surprise. Adorable little L would hit, scratch, bite and throw things regularly. Rarely smiled like her sister, and never snuggled. However, for the first week she would only fall asleep in the crib if I lay next to it holding her hand.
We got into a rhythm. They learned to eat new foods, healthy foods, take baths every day and I learned how to care for textured hair, something that I never even thought about before. Wow, ladies with textured hair I applaud you at the work that goes into caring for your hair, I have a whole new respect and love for braids. Our boys were great with them, but they felt very slighted and told us so. We had long talks about the girls needing a family, but our kids were still having a hard time. The girls required so much attention it was hard to do much else. We took a few trips with them and had a great time seeing them experience new things. I loved them. I still love them. It is hard to write about the decision we made to not move forward with adoption when that became their path. All I can say is we just knew that the girls weren’t meant to be forever with us. That is so hard to say, but Garon and I prayed about it long and hard and we both kept hearing God tell us the same thing. It was hard to understand, but we trust our Lord and when we are both in agreement on what we are hearing we obey. After about 8 months and several conversations, it was ending up that the girls would move in with the foster family that had their younger siblings. We thought for sure this was Gods plan for the girls all along, that they would be with their siblings now forever.
When the girls arrived at our house on that cold January day for the first time they had the clothes they were wearing, and the items the caseworker bought for them on the way over, and one bin from their family members house that contained a bunch of broken toys and clothes that were for boys and didn’t fit them. We were sending them to their forever family with boxes and boxes of clothes, toys, bedding, and everything that we bought for them. It took 2 trips to get everything there. A very, very hard and teary goodbye was said the beginning of August 2016, and hopes that we would see them again by getting together with the family, which they felt it was too hard to see us so we didn’t see them again except in pictures on our wall, and the smell in their room that lingered from their lotion and hair products. I would lay on M’s bed and cry and cry… I don’t even remember how long this lasted, a long time. I knew it worked out the way it was supposed to but my heart hurt so badly. I missed them, so much.
It is funny, how total strangers children can come into our life, be part of our family and then be gone and eventually we carry on like we kind of did before. I like to think that the 8 month the girls were with us we may have touched their hearts or changed their lives in some small way, but in reality it was our hearts and lives that were changed in such a big way. Our first foster babies will forever be captured on our wall in photos and in our hearts always. We love you so much sweet girls.