365 Days

365 days ago, we met our girls.

We were having dinner with some friends at our house when we got the call: 1-year-old and 2-year-old girls (first rule of Placement is don’t believe Placement. Those ages were incorrect.) We were so excited to finally get a call after about a month of being officially “available” again.

Our friends the Addisons were so sweet, just helping us pass the time. We ate dinner anyway, and they prayed with us before the girls arrived. It was nice to have people there with us as we waited.

The CPS worker arrived brought P in her carrier inside, and Craig went to the car to get Dubs. I’m pretty sure Dubs was wearing purple pants, but I could be wrong. We filled out paperwork. The CPS worker told us that she would have to sneak out because P would be fine, but Dubs would break down (accurate).

SIDEBAR: Now, it’s painful to think about our girls being dropped off at a stranger’s house, but that’s what happened to them. I mean, we knew we were nice and kind and safe. But the girls didn’t know that yet. Just another reminder of how terrifying foster care is for children.

Then, we had no idea what kind of little people they would be. What they would love, hate, do, say. Now, a year later, we have two tiny individuals who run our house and take names. 

We know we have a Dory-obsessed, “coffee”-loving, jacket-wearing-hating, loud, hilarious, stubborn, sweet, smart, creative, fashion-conscious near-3-year-old on our hands who will do just about anything for ice cream and sings on pitch (mostly).

#neverforget ^

We know we have a tiny, easy-going, word-saying, shoe-obsessed, straight-up-adorable, hallway-running, baby-einstein-hypnotized, pigtail-wearing, baby(stuffed animal)-adoring, best-hug-giving, squealing, sassy love bug of a near-18-month-old who loves her sissy (which now comes out “eeee”) and says “yes” with her whole body.

But a year ago, we were handed these small humans — one who communicated only in “ehhh!”s for a few frustrating weeks and the other who couldn’t even roll over yet — only dreaming that MAYBE we would get to throw Dubs a birthday party four weeks later. And MAYBE we could even have them long enough for Easter. Or Summer. Can you imagine, having them for summer? What about P’s FIRST BIRTHDAY? We could throw a first birthday party? That would be so fun. And then, gradually, it all came to pass. Then it was fall, and we put together halloween costumes, and we picked out pumpkins, and we did all the cliche family things because WE COULD. And we figured out holiday schedules and endured road trips with toddlers and celebrated Christmas together as a family.

And now it’s been a year. We’ve learned a lot about grace and a lot about God enabling us to Do Hard Things. We’ve learned about the generosity of others. We’ve learned that sometimes the messier life is, the more beautiful it is. We’re stumbling through this thing, but we are mostly just so thankful for the people God has blessed us with, and the honor and privilege of caring for these girls and having them call us “mama” and “daddy.”

It’s certainly had its ups and downs, this foster care journey of ours. And it’s far from over. But as much as I miss  weekends of sleeping in and days without managing meltdowns, being mama to these girls has been an enormous blessing in my life.

To think that we are going to be planning a 3-year-old birthday party soon kind of blows my mind. It feels like we just had her 2nd. I suppose that’s what parenting is, though. 

Happy one-year, sweet girls. You are the biggest blessings in our lives (besides Jesus). It is a joy to watch you grow and teach you things and snuggle with you and laugh at your silliness. We love you more than you know, and we hope we get to celebrate many more years to come with you.