Wednesday, March 03, 2010

A Note to Our Foster Kids

Dear Boys,

Two more days.

For more than a year you have been with us. You have trusted us with your care. You have let us feed you and bathe you and put you to bed. You have been our kids for 13 months, and it has been so wonderful. Let me tell you some things:

You do not like vegetables, but will consent to sample a carrot if we insist. Sometimes. We know this because there were times in the past year-plus-a-month that we had to practically force you to eat anything at all, but now you do so well. And we are so proud of you when you do.

You like to read a couple of stories, sing a couple of songs (“Twinkle, Twinkle” and “I See the Moon” are particular favorites), and then say a prayer (the one that starts “Now I lay me down to sleep…”) every night before bed. We know this because we have done just that every single night for more than thirteen months now.

After breakfast, you simply must dance. And you absolutely must listen to “I Want You Back” by the Jackson 5 when you do. If neither of these things happen, you often burst into tears until it does. We know this because we are so sick and tired of “I Want You Back” by the Jackson 5 that we’ll probably never “want it back” ever again.

You have taught us so much about what it means to trust, especially when you fall asleep in the back of the car as we drive through a rainy night. We have felt the great weight of responsibility for you, and have done our very best to meet it. They all say, “Oh, they have come so far in the past year; it’s amazing!” And they are right, you know. You have changed … a lot.

You knew how to say one word between you when you came to us – “Stop.” And now you know all the letters and can count to ten and use such wonderful words to tell us things. When we watch you run, we remember you way back when, just crawling, and are absolutely amazed.

One other thing: I want to tell you that your birth mommy loves you very much. That is honest. We know this because we have talked with her about you a lot during this last year. She was just having a really hard time taking care of you. So remember that. She loves you a lot.

And so – now, in just two days, you are moving to your forever family. Now you will trust them with all those things you trust us with now. I hope that in learning to trust us, you learned that trust is a good thing and it will be easier for you to invest it in your forever mommy and daddy. They are so nice and good and loving, and you are going to love it there.

You have made us laugh and made us cry and made us so angry. It’s time for you to make someone else laugh and cry and angry, now. In just two more days.

There will be different carrots to eat around a different table, but I’m pretty sure they’re going to make you eat them, too. There will be different story books and new songs and prayers to learn, but I’m confident that there will be reading and singing and praying there. There will more than likely be dancing, but I’m not sure about the Jackson 5. You might have to learn how to cope without that one, little guys.

We’re not gone, remember. Your forever mommy and daddy have told us that we’re going to be able to keep track of you, stay in touch with you, see pictures of you as you grow up, and send you presents on your birthday and stuff like that. That’s so great! I personally cannot wait to see what you’ll be like as teenagers – ha! What a hoot!

And so we’re going to say bye-bye, and it’s going to be a real one, for a long time, and way different than we’ve ever said bye-bye before. (Which, by the way, you still say sometimes when you mean to say “hi,” but keep working on it and you’ll get it – we know you will.) This is going to be a pretty big bye-bye this time.

We’ll probably be crying, so don’t freak out. They are such good tears! We are so happy for how far you have come and for how bright your future is. You are going to learn and grow and sing and dance and run and play and cry and laugh and bonk you head and skin your knee and go to school and fly a kite and throw a baseball and maybe ride a horse someday and …

… in two more days.

4 comments:

kris said...

Beautiful.

ReBeCcA said...

heart warming, you are so strong! God is proud of you and Erin!

Caryl said...

And we have just finished telling you good-bye at our house in Columbia as you and Andy, Erin, Cori and Wes drove off to take you to your forever home. Granddad said a prayer before you got in the car. and pretty much all of us cried because we will miss you. We are really, really glad that you spent the night here last night so we could have one more time of feeling the joy that you bring. And we are so happy that you have a wonderful family that will love you and help you grow up, cause it's not easy to grow up and everyone needs help. Daddy Andy said they were so proud of you. We are, too, and we are also so proud of AECW. They have succeeded in reaching every foster family's goal - teaching you to trust and letting you know that you are loved. Bye, bye, Cody and Ethan. We love you very much.

Nanny and Granddad.

The Thief said...

This is beautiful and it brought tears to my eyes.

Thank you for literally heeding God's call to care for orphans. You are a blessing.