Phew. My day with all six kiddos is winding down. 20 months is upstairs in her crib. 2, 3, and 5 went home half an hour ago, and 5 and 7 are working on Daddy’s Millenium Falcon lego ship with him. My feet hurt.
What a great day. It was a major success with few time outs and no serious injuries. The house is clean although the children are all quite dirty. Perhaps if we had all six all the time, we’d figure out a bathing routine at the end of the day, but when it’s only a day here and there, it just doesn’t seem worth it to figure out that schedule! I offered to take the kids so their foster family could get some alone time with their teenage daughter and we could celebrate Christmas with the kiddos.
There was a pajama clad breakfast at IHOP where we picked the kids up, two walking/riding/scootering trips to two different neighborhood parks, a movie for rest time (again, not worth trying to get naps out of kids who aren’t in their own home!), wrestling with Daddy, and lots of craziness. And dirt and diapers.
Survival strategy: the children are your whole job. I did have about an hour during Cubby’s nap while Midge was at a visit with her dad and the older kids were watching their movie. I used it to clean up from the morning and chop vegetables and prep the crock pot for dinner. I felt like a marathon runner. Tired, proud, victorious.
I still don’t know what role we’ll be playing in these kids’ lives in the future. Both of their parents’ rights will most likely be terminated within months. None of their family plan to adopt them, and their foster family will keep them until they find a family, but the foster family isn’t planning to adopt.
Sometimes I feel a tugging on my heart to take them all. Sometimes I realize that I’m crazy. Sometimes I am surprised by what God gives me the strength to do. Sometimes I wonder if God would call us to do something that would so drastically affect our current children. Sometimes I remind myself that God knows ALL, even the futures of all of my kids. Sometimes I break down and cry when I’m sick or overwhelmed or too tired, and I know that I could never do anything for any extra kids, much less my own. And sometimes I realize that I can’t do any of this anyway, but God can.
And then I breathe out and thank God for the people whom He has placed in my home right now and the way He gives me emotional and physical strength to take care of them, even though fostering is way too heartbreaking and hard. And sometimes I’m just grateful for the quiet. Although the noisy chaos is a lot of fun, too.