Hi Friends! Today is a special day for our family. The sweetest little pumpkin is one today. We have loved on him unconditionally since the day my cousin Erin brought him home from the hospital. It is crazy to love someone so much when they sort of stumble into your life without warning. Him and his brother have been two of the biggest blessings to our family over the past year and that is all thanks to foster care.
I remember the day Erin told us she was interested in becoming a foster parent. It right away made perfect sense for her and her life. I was so wrong though about how long the process would take for her to actually become one. There were many tests she had to do, many interviews and home walkthroughs and so on. After she had completed all of this, there were so many what ifs. When will that first call happen? How old will the kids be? Will it be short-term or long-term or somewhere in between? How many kids will walk into her life while also walking into ours?
The foster care process can be really delicate and often times difficult. There are ups and downs and endless twists and turns. The process is full of so many unknowns. As a cousin watching in on all the unexpected paths Erin has had to take throughout the last year it is simply incredible. There is no one more made for this than her. Her patience & spirit have never wavered throughout this whole journey. It's such a proud thing to watch.
It's also a proud moment to see the bond these boys have formed with every member of our family. They are sooo gentle with my grandma and will sit so still on her lap to read books. They endlessly laugh at my dad and he equally laughs at them. They both light up whenever they see my mom. A recent funny story is my mom chasing K into someone else's apartment that he casually opened and walked right in to. Chels never passes up an opportunity to rock P to sleep. To them I am auntie BB. And boy do they keep Allie on her toes. One night we were all at Nordstrom shopping and while my aunt and cousin were checking out, Al and I were on baby duty. I naturally go to P and carry him since K is always full of so much energy. So he is running, and I mean running, in circle's around the first floor of this store. Allie is chasing him and I am dying of laughter. Every time she laps around she yells at me "take a turn. take a turn!!"
My aunt Lisa was made to be a grandma. The happiness these boys bring her is unmatched. She beams whenever she talks about them. And rightfully so! These boys are so special. And Erin, oh my word Erin. You were made to be a mom. You were made to be in these boys lives. Watching you in this role is nothing short of amazing. Even if you are endlessly saying "no, no brudder." The way the boys love you is a bond that only God can create. I've gotta say though, sometimes they love you too much and don't want to spend as much time with me so we've got to work on that.
Going into this process I knew very little about foster care. My eyes have been completely opened to the roller coaster that is this system. The social workers, the court process, the unexpected twists. I give nothing but praise and credit to those who sign up for this. So if anyone reading this is a foster parent or is closely a part of this process, my hat goes off to you. Through all the highs and lows, I hope you know that what you are doing is making an incredible difference in so many lives.
We don't know where this journey will end but we are hopeful and are trusting in a greater plan. So today we are celebrating the hell out of P. We are showering him with love and soaking every minute in. I'm also sharing an article below about how to help children in foster care without becoming a foster parent. I would love to hear your thoughts, your journey, or even try to answer any question you might have. Because the biggest lesson I've learned about this is that every family member is along for this ride. And I wouldn't have it any other way.