Last week, DHS called asking if we could take emergency placement of two children for 5 days. They were aware that we had 7 children already, but had no other options. 5 days seemed doable and my kids were so excited about having new playmates for a little while. I CAN'T say no. I just can't do it. I have never said no to a child. So, I said, "Yes." An hour later, I had 9 kids. These babies had just turned 1 and 2. So the roll call was 7 months, 1, 2, 2, 2, 3, 5, 5, and 7. They played well enough together during the day, but then bedtime came. Our guests had a TERRIBLE time falling and staying asleep. They woke up constantly crying and screaming frantically for their mommy. It absolutely broke my heart imagining how scared and confused these babies were. I know that this is very common behavior for foster children when they are first placed somewhere, but I was hopeful that I would be able to comfort them. When I realized that this would likely continue every night until another home was found, I had to make the sad decision to have them moved. It is impossible for me to safely and effectively care for 9 or even 7 children on no sleep, so we said goodbye after 2 days. They had to peel the 2 year old off of me kicking and screaming and put him in the car. I couldn't even say goodbye to the caseworker before I started bawling, so I just ran into the house. :( I never thought I would send children away, but I also never thought that I would be responsible for 9 under the age of 8!
Lessons I learned from this experience:
- Having "only" 7, is oddly peaceful. It is my limit, for now. They are the perfect combination of personalities for our family and adding anything to that, changes everything.
- My bonds with our current foster children are even stronger than I thought. Having "new" kids in the house, highlighted how well I know and love all my children, not just my biological.
- I don't regret saying "yes." Everything happens for a reason and I believe that the prayers we prayed over these children and for their parents will make a difference.
- This experience will make me a better mom to the 7 I am responsible for right now and for that, I am thankful.
Lessons I already knew, but were confirmed by this experience:
- We need more foster homes!!! DHS should not have to call a foster parent with 7 already to place children.
- When you're obedient to God and the outcome is different than expected, HE will still honor that act of faith.
- People love to donate "things" to kids in need, but when their time is requested, they usually don't reply.
- Last but not least... People think I'm crazy. :)
|My new sticker for my van! :)|