I am watching the life of a close friend as she is in the throes of fostering her first child. Her love, but beyond that, serious-I’m-digging-my-heels-in-and-not-letting-you-go dedication to this kid is a joy to see. It reminds me what hard work in can be to try to get through to a child who has been through so much.
I had said we were going to take a break from fostering for a while. There are home improvement projects to complete, small children to raise. I am inadequate to meet my own children’s needs and that of a hurting child.
But then the phone rang…
I struggle with my failings, my limitations, my imperfections. In Christ’s strength, I feel like this is one small place in the world I can make a difference- mostly by just being available. I can’t fix anyone, force someone to make good decisions or change pasts. I can tolerate noise, make pb and j, listen, and offer advice. I can offer a safe place to play and grow. I can try not to be overwhelmed, and I can invent outside projects to keep hands busy.
I’ve talked to the little kiddos about it. Are they ok with sharing Mommy? Would they like it is I said no more extra kids for a while? They are quite content to fill our lives with people. They miss K, and really look forward to seeing her again- especially Millie. They can’t remember a world where Emily wasn’t their big sister. They’ve taken to getting up earlier in the mornings so that they will be ready when our friend A comes for the day. They love having older friends around to push swings, read books, romp in the grass with, and generally adventure with.
The kids that come…So often the kids we meet have not had a chance to be a carefree little one. There is healing in a “big kid” building a box city for the first time, or listening to “Goodnight Moon”, or singing a lullaby to our youngest. It is safe to do those things here, because that’s what we do. The mean age of our household is about 5.
The home improvement projects are slowly getting done. The laundry room and downstairs bathroom are beautiful! The new room for Emily project is coming along well, when it is finished it will be the one magazine worthy room in our house . For now, A- who has been longing for something to hammer- is going to build an extra bed frame for a guest staying the weekend.
So yeah, even in our little cabin in the woods, with our handful of children and our many projects…there is always room for one more.