Hello everyone!! If you missed my latest podcast, be sure to check it out at laceybuchanan.com/podcasts. A new one will post next Monday that I am so excited about!
I'm also super excited to write this blogpost tonight about how fostering is going. I shared more details about it this week on my Patreon at patreon.com.laceybuchanan if you'd like to see more there! The last week was absolutely incredible and exhausting. I am so tired yall! lol! On Thursday last week we said "yes" to our very first every placement since we became certified to foster. So on the same week as time change, we doubled the amount of kids in our house! It was pure chaos and so beautiful!
We accepted two girls ages 11 and 13. We had not planned on taking children much older than our own boys, but we felt comfortable with this placement after asking questions and learning about the girls. They were also only going to be here a few days, as they just needed somewhere to stay for a few days before they went to an already waiting permanent placement. So we figured this would be a great test run to get our feet wet, since it was temporary and we knew exactly when it would end.
We actually haven't gotten as many calls for placements as I expected, but the few that we did get, we had to say no to for various reasons.
But when this call came in, we said yes and anxiously awaited the next day when the girls would be dropped off to us. When they arrived, we all greeted them at the door, the boys anxious to meet their new housemates for the next few days. We were all very nervous. We have absolutely no experience in fostering, we've never had a placement. We had no idea how the boys would do. We had no clue how the girls would do, if we could handle them, how much need they would have and if we could meet those needs. We were worried about the boys emotional health through all of it too, and that's something we are always careful to try to protect, but there were just so many unknowns to this! It was a bit overwhelming.
When they arrived, the girls came in and brought their things. We showed them their room and welcomed them in. They were quiet and a bit reserved at first, of course, trying to get a feel for us.
We decided that the best course of action for us was to not start in laying down the law, but to allow them time to acclimate and adjust. They lost their biological family and now a foster family that they had been with for 7 months, all within a year. They were absolutely having a hard day and feeling the weight of what they carry when they came in. We decided just to love on them all we could. Of course, there were rules, but if there were things we could let slide or not be hard on, we did that. If there were things we could do to make them more comfortable, we did that, too, of course. The girls needed pajamas so we took them out on Saturday and bought them some. They had no shampoo or bath products when they came, so we let them pick some out. Several times while they were here, they would have arguements that got a little heated. It was nothing I considered major. My boys fight sometimes too, so I'm totally used to sibling fights! It opened up a great opportunity for me to talk to them about their feelings and what they were going through. We actually ended up having several deep and important conversations about what they've been through and where they were headed.
On Friday evening, we did a drive-thru dinner for fun. We went to a close by city with lots of fast food places (our small town only has a few), and allowed everyone in the car to choose which drive thru they got food from. We let them get whatever they wanted, so the younger one ended up with a meal, cheese sticks, and cheese cake! We ended up going to four different drive thru's that night! haha! But it was fun and we all got to spend time together getting to know each other.
We spent the weekend at a birthday party and shopping on Saturday. The girls mentioned that they'd really like to stay home on Sunday, which made me happy to know that they felt comfortable enough in our home that they wanted to be there. So we stayed home on Sunday. The girls jumped on the trampoline, listened to music, talked with their friends that they had just had to leave behind, and we all just had a relaxing. There was still so much chaos though lol!
We thought about going to church, but we haven't been since COVID got bad back in September or October last year, trying to protect Christian, so we figured this weekend wasn't a good time to start.
|The younger girl asked me to braid her hair. I've never gotten to braid my kiddos hair before being a boy mom. It was one of those things I will never forget.|
|Cooking dinner one night, I snapped this photo of our island full of plates laid out for dinner. Our house was loud, crazy, and chaotic, and I absolutely loved it!|
The girls were picked up this morning, and we were all sad to see them go and anxious about them leaving. We had all definitely grown attached. The younger girl is a super early riser, so she was already up when Christian got up this morning. When she saw him coming down the stairs, she went to him, picked him up, and carried him the rest of the way down. She also let him ride her hooverboard all weekend, which he loved!
They were just so good with the boys. I can't brag enough about how well the boys did with them. Chandler played with them every chance he got and even though they are a lot older and not interested in all the same things that he is, they played with him and spent a lot of time on the trampoline bouching with him.
We were all honestly sad to see them go. Chris and I told the social worker that we would gladly take them back if the need arose. Hopefully, the family they are going to will adopt them. Permanency is the best case scenario for them, but saying goodbye was painful and also rewarding for us. I truly felt like we gave it our all this weekend for these girls and it felt truly rewarding.
We had no idea that we would all get so attached in such a short time, but the way we see it, we should get attached. These girls deserved to be loved this weekend and that's what we tried to do.
I hope that the short time we had with them will stick with them and that we made a positive impact on them. I hope they felt loved and know that we cherished them just as we would our own children, because for a few days, they were our children. I hope that they both are able to overcome the challenges they have faced and that they have adults who will help guide them throughout the rest of their childhood.
I also hope that through this, my boys learn about what it means to love others the way Jesus does, to see sacrificial love in action. I hope they understand that following Jesus is not always easy or pretty, and in fact, it's often messy and difficult, but that it's worth it, that the kids we do this for are worth it, that my boys are worth it.
|A trampoline full of happy kids! Doesn't get much better! |
If you are considering fostering, please reach out to me. I'd love to discuss it with you more!