I made that call I was telling you about, here. I found out that the next step was attending a foster-care orientation on January 12th, 2017. Since it had been five years since we let our license expire we needed to start the process again from the beginning.
While we love to remember the day in November when our family officially became a family on paper, it was always official in our hearts that we were a family since that first day that the kids walked into our home carrying all of their earthly possessions.
This year’s gotcha day also marks our fifth anniversary of being a crew of seven. Seriously, where did years two, three & four go?!?
Back in January of 2012 FIVE years as a family seemed SO far away, until suddenly it wasn’t.
I still remember the day I took the photo below, like it was yesterday! It was the day before the kids were going to arrive and I was already worried about our, first born daughter, having a hard time adjusting to more siblings and well suddenly being demoted to now the fourth born.
Would we be able to love more children, like we love her?
Would she feel slighted?
Will we screw her up with this whole messing up the birth order thing and expanding our family?!?
Those were all of the fears running through my mind as we went out for a little date together, just one sleep before her world would change forever.
Today we plan on celebrating BIG. The kids are testing for their gold belts and then we are going to enjoy a feast at one of our favorite restaurants, Tepanyaki (Sushi as far as the eye can see AND chicken nuggets…everyone wins!) 😉 And then we’ll come home for our traditional gotcha day ice cream cake. A homemade recipe that my mom made at birthdays growing up…a tub of cool whip, a half pint of vanilla ice cream, a container of oreos (crushed in a plastic bag), and then everything is mixed together, spread out in a cake pan and refrozen, serve & enjoy!
Back to that board room!
My jaw was on the floor as that little boy kicked and screamed and kicked and screamed and did everything he could to escape her embrace.
It took my breath away.
“Do the parents meet us?”
“Do they know who we are?”
Every situation is different, the social worker responded. But in most cases they see you during the visits and for some situations we’ll be the middle person to transport the child at the front of the government center from you to the parent waiting upstairs.
I remember that first time we would see the kids’ birth mom again since the adoption had been finalized.
And my face lights up just as much as theirs does when I tell them what their mom said.
They have SO many people who love them.
That is what they understand!
I knew she was spot on. “These stories are hard, you have to learn how to stay calm”, she said. They don’t want to share all of the happy stories and then have you become a foster parent and come back asking why caring for children in broken homes is so difficult.
But as I sat there listening to the stories I thought of how things are now…five years later.
The social worker said, the greatest impact you might have in a child’s life that you foster is teaching them how to use a tooth brush.
And that, that matters.
I left that meeting feeling a little conflicted. Conflicted not quite knowing what the next step is for our family.
It felt like all of those old fears came back up to the surface…
Would we be able to love more children, like we love them?
Would they feel slighted?
But as this five year anniversary approached, I started thinking about my original fears that I had about my daughter. And it occurred to me that it has been years since I’ve ever wondered what the answers were to those questions.
The answers are clear.