Friday, January 10, 2014

Just the six of us

Our kitchen table was covered in markers, crayons, and a huge brightly colored poster board that I believe could glow in the dark because it’s so blinding.  Our youngest biological son was prepared to make the best welcome home sign for his new siblings with a little help from me with his spelling.

As we sat down at and created a welcome home sign we talked about what we might do when we arrived at their foster home. I explained to him again that we were adopting them, and it’s not like foster care which we had done for years. This time, they’d never leave and they would have our same last name in six months.  He was so excited and said he finally had a sister that he could share his afterschool snack with at aftercare like the other children who have siblings. This was his highlight, somebody to share his snacks with!

We also talked to our oldest biological son again and shared the importance of him being the big brother and how his younger siblings will be looking up to him as a good role model.  His concern was where David would sit on the school bus.  I assured him there was room on the bus. He also shared that he was worried that I wouldn’t have time for him. I assured him we would still have regular “Mommy and me” dates and my heart is big enough to love all four children (and Daddy) 100 percent.

The next day at 7:00 a.m. we were piling up in our already too small Tahoe and heading two hours south to pick up David and Grace and bring them back for their first overnight visit.  Our children were excited to be driving out onto the ranch. Just the drive on the ranch was enough excitement for him.

When we arrived at their foster home, our biological children met their siblings and they instantly acted as though they had always been together, all four of them! The letters and photos I had given David and Grace helped them form a relationship with their siblings before we met. David and Grace knew what their new siblings looked like, knew what their likes and dislikes were and they found common interest as many children share such as Legos and action figures.

David and Grace had two small yellow bags and one box that held all of their prized possessions they had during their time in foster care which was seven extremely long years. As they carefully placed their items in the car, we all pilled in and left. I knew I would have to give them back to their foster mom because this was only a one-night stay. We had to take it slow and not rush too quickly.  I tried not to focus on the fact they’d have to go back the next day and focus on the fun times we were about to have together.

As we left the ranch and made our two-hour journey back home, we finally had all of our children in the car. I remember looking in my rearview mirror at all four of my children and then glancing at my husband with huge tears in my eyes and said “ This is what we waited for, over two years later,  it has come true.”

Read more of Christy's posts about her foster parenting journey here

Christy Benson is the director of Clinical Informatics Analysis & Measurement for Texas Health Resources, Mom to two boys, and Foster Mom.

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