The lucky ones.
Well, it’s a girl! And… another girl! Paul and I are now the proud foster parents of a nine year old girl and her five year old sister.
Last Friday, I left work early to pick Aviean up from school. As we were talking about what to do that night, she mentioned that a classmate was having a birthday party and she wanted to go. We headed to Target to find a gift, grabbed Uncle Paul and then the three of us headed to the birthday party. While Paul and I were watching Aviean play with her classmates, we got the call we had been waiting for: we were the match to a foster child. And… would we take her sister, too?
We had previously told the agency we were only willing to take one child but that we didn’t care if it was a boy or girl. When they called about this situation, Paul and I talked about it and very quickly decided that we would take both children even though we had previously been pretty adamant about taking just one child. Truthfully, we have plenty of room for both children (Paul and I are using the spare bedroom and use the master bedroom for the children). And so, very quickly, we were the match.
While Aviean played at the birthday party, Paul and I just kept looking at each other kind of stunned. After the party ended, we told Aviean the news and she was ecstatic (while we didn’t care what gender of a child we received, Aviean has been praying for a girl since day one). We came home and got Aviean ready for bed while relaying calls with DCS about the children’s arrival.
They came to us late that night directly from a hospital emergency room. We immediately got them inside, talked a little bit and then helped them get to sleep (the little one didn’t fall asleep until nearly 2 a.m.). On Saturday morning, Aviean began giving the girls the grand tour of our home which included helpful hints about where we keep the puppy’s toys and the best place to find a snack. Everyone had biscuits and gravy (except me — I don’t remember eating much that day at all) and then we loaded up and headed to Target.
Unfortunately, the girls didn’t come with belongings so we had to start from scratch. I’m sure people walking past us thought we were crazy as we wheeled two little girls around in their pajamas while trying to figure out what size jeans and shoes they wear. Nearly three hours later, we had gathered up enough underwear, clothes, shoes and toiletries to make it through the next week. I think the real highlight was introducing the girls to Target’s snack bar (they had never been to Target and weren’t really sure what Walmart was). The low point definitely happened in the shoe section when I almost had a nervous breakdown trying to find shoes to fit their tiny feet.
Saturday was a very expensive day between the Target run and other things we needed to immediately purchase for the girls. Late in the afternoon, we finally stopped for some Happy Meals at McDonald’s. As we waited in line, I asked Paul whether he wanted a hamburger or salad. My sweet husband, who has never had alcohol due to his epilepsy, immediately answered “I’ll take a double scotch, please.”
The rest of the weekend was a blur. The immediate needs were to get the girls rehydrated, fed, etc. At one point I could hardly get water bottles out of the fridge fast enough for them and decided to start feeding them water based fruit as well to try to get liquids into them. I was in pediatric nurse mode for a lot of the weekend but on Sunday we managed to make it to church on time. After getting the girls settled into their classes, Paul and I started heading to the sanctuary. When we got to the doors, I looked at Paul and said “Maybe you and I should just sit here in the lobby and make a game plan for the rest of the day.” We spent the next hour sitting in the church foyer trying to figure out what the most pressing needs were for the girls and deciding who would tackle what when we got home. I’m sure the church service was great that morning but the relief of knowing we had a game plan was pretty wonderful.
We haven’t stopped running since then. I can’t take off work this week due to some big events so I’ve been squeezing doctor and dental appointments in on lunch breaks and evening walk-in clinics. I am trying to wash clothes and bed sheets each day and just doing basic things to keep the girls going and adjusting to being with us.
They are precious. I can’t say much more than that but they are fabulous five (fabulous seven?) level of preciousness. The oldest is so sweet and the youngest has enough personality for about five other children. From the time they wake up in the morning until they moment they finally pass out from exhaustion at night, they are constantly on my or Paul’s heels. They follow us from room to room and, no matter what mundane task we’re doing, they want to be standing right next to us.
Paul and I are beside ourselves with both joy and exhaustion. I am hopeful that, once I get done with this really busy week at work and I have all of the medical appointments done for the girls, we will be able to rest a bit more. I still have to get Miss Nine Year Old registered for school (our public schools are on spring break this week) and Miss Five Year Old into a preschool and I know that both of those tasks aren’t easy.
But we are so happy. So, so happy. We think we are the luckiest, happiest home in Tennessee tonight, with two angels asleep in the other room. People keep wanting to tell us that the girls are so lucky to have us but Paul and I know the truth. We really are the lucky ones.
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