we are over a month into this new life, and already it feels longer than our last placement.

odd, because she was with us twice as long as they have been so far. i think in many ways this feels longer because it is more permanent. there is no set end-date like there always was with our teen. also, it is hard to over-stress the differences in parenting a teen vs a toddler (i know, obvious!) but the toddlers have simply taken over our lives and integrated into every facet of it in a way the teen never wanted to. this is both harder and easier.

harder, because their needs (and our desire to do what's best for them) have caused a total upheaval in our routines. our daily life now looks completely different then it did before. we've given up some things, gained others, and all with very little notice or preparation.

easier, because in many ways we feel so much more like a family. to be brutally honest the acceptance and reaction of the people around our life has made all the difference here. i guess it's not surprising that people find it easier to interact with and enjoy a three year old than a thirteen year old, but we have had so much more support, encouragement, and involvement with these kids in four weeks than we did with her in the entire eight+. people want to meet them, get to know them, are excited about them.

for the most part people either ignored our teen or expressed how sorry they were for us when she was out of earshot. this makes me sad, but i understand. small children are cute, and people expect a couple our age to have tiny ones show up (even if ours weren't quite as tiny when they arrived as most). teens are rather difficult, some moments more than others, and the people that make up the extended network of our life just didn't know how to handle having one suddenly show up as part of our family. it was a good learning lesson for us on the importance of making kids in foster care feel at home in every environment, and helped us understand our world and the people we interact with a little better.


being a foster parent

Sometimes foster parenting is the look of joy on a little boy's face when he realizes that you actually came back for him like you said you would.

Other times it is looking a little girl in the eye after she fiercely declares "i don't want you!" and saying "well i want you" and getting surprised by her sudden hug.

But mostly right now it is hearing a two year old scream for mommy, knowing this time she means you, and knowing that being mommy means instead of rushing in to comfort her, you sit outside her door in the dark and quietly cry with her.