I know it’s been a while. Partly because life has been busy and partly because life has been hard and I honestly didn’t want to blog about it. I had my last blog title all picked out. Miserably Happy. I guess that is the best way I can describe what life feels like in a new state away from everything and everyone we have every known. It isn’t all bad, but we are still trying to find our “happy.” The past 2-3 weeks have been better for sure. I have so much to get caught up on and still want to share my “Miserably Happy” blog post with you, but this post puts my miserably happy self in check. My life is a breeze when I start comparing it to these 2 sweet little girls we currently have in our home.
Last Saturday night, after a weekend full of one daughter turning 17 and another one turning 13, 2 birthday parties, and a volleyball tournament, we received a foster care placement call at 11:30 pm. Our heads had just hit the pillows. We were exhausted. We had a trip to Disney planned for the next day as a way to “relax.” I cannot go into detail about the girls or their situation as it is not my story to tell for them. What I can try to put into words for you is how I am feeling about them, about us, and about the system. Th placement worker called and asked if we would be willing to take a 2 and a 3 year old. They gave us a few small details and then you have to decide. Will you take in 2 strangers into your home without not really knowing anything about them or their lives? We were really wanting a baby. One. Baby. So there Dan and I sat at 11:30 at night, in the dark, with the placement worker on hold trying to figure out what this looked like for us. In less than a minute, we had agreed to welcome them into our home and our world has been rocked. The next hour and a half was a whirlwind. Dan and Sadie ran to Walmart to get necessities and I stayed home to get the house ready. We weren’t sure if they slept in a crib or a bed, together or separate so we just kinda got it all ready. The older girls were awake and we “patiently” waited for the CPI (Child Protective Investigator) to arrive.
J&J were sleeping when we first met them. It was 1:30 in the morning and we were all ready to get some sleep. I didn’t know if we’d be up all night with them or what the first night would look like. The girls were used to sleeping together so after we put them in some new pajamas they went right to bed. They slept through the night and the little Wilke kids were in for a surprise when they woke up!
We have spent the last week with J&J and I can honestly say it’s been a rollercoaster of emotions and feelings. From feeling overwhelmed with the appointments and meetings to feeling such a deep heart ache for them that is indescribable to seeing our children step into a new role as foster siblings….this week has been life-changing.
We took the classes, went to trainings, read articles and none of them prepared us for what we would experience when we opened our home to these little girls. Some things that happened to J&J this week just didn’t seem fair or just, but as their foster parents, we don’t have a say. When they tell you they are coming to pick the girls up, you tell them where you are and they pick them up. They have transporters pick up your foster babies and take them places and bring them back to you. They have visits with people they have never met before and you maybe don’t think should even get to see them, but you tell them what time works best for you and you let them go. You hear things J&J say and your mamma heart breaks.
The girls have been here a week now. They feel more comfortable which means their little personalities are coming out. It’s like having a newborn that sleeps for the first week and then a week into parenthood when they start to cry all the time you wonder what to do and how to get them to stop crying for the rest of their lives!! That’s kind of where we are at. How do we try to help the girls understand our rules? How do we teach them our bedtime routine? How do we start teaching them they are loved and adored by their Creator? One day at a time.
We have gone back to carseats and sippy cups. We have to cut food up in to small pieces and tell then to constantly sit down at the table. We have had a screaming child on a car ride home multiple times. We have had to leave church and sit in the cry room. We have gone back to pull ups, asking kids if they need to go potty all the time, and helping bathe little bodies. We were in the free and clear of parenting little ones. I mean parenting teenagers is no walk in the park, but it sure is different from car seats and wiping boogers. The thought has crossed my mind, probably more than it should have this week, what in the world are we doing? Why did we sign up for this? Why would we willingly add 2 more children our 7? It’s hard to admit that because this is something we have been praying about.
And then….with one hug or kiss from J&J, you remember why. They call us Mamma Sue and Daddy Dan. They have taken a huge liking to Daddy Dan. When big J got out of the car from school the other day she said, “I gotta go find my Daddy Dan.” It about melted my heart right there. The girls love our kids and our kids have been so good with them. Little J adores Lanie. I’m pretty sure Lanie would carry little J around all the time if I let her. The boys are really good at getting them all wound up and chasing them around the house while the older girls are good at holding them or making sure they aren’t touching their stuff!
I know we are only a week in and the journey has just begun, but I wanted to share my thoughts and feelings from this past week with you guys. I had posted a wish list from target on Facebook and people were so generous in helping us get things for the girls. Thank you if you sent us something!! I have felt like a bad friend and a bad person this week. So many of you have texted or called to ask about J&J and I just haven’t had the time or the energy to respond to everyone yet, and for that I am so sorry. The girls are starting at a daycare tomorrow morning and I am praying we get back into our routine.
I love and adore these little girls already. They will forever have an imprint on my heart. My heart longs to meet their mommy so I can help her get her little girls back and tell her that her girls are safe and loved until they can be reunited. While we have them we will love them and care for them. We will spoil them and we will discipline them. We will pray with them and pray for them. Thank you for all the love and support and we can’t wait to continue to share our foster journey with you!
( I actually don’t know if I can share pictures of their faces with you or not….so here’s a few back of the head pics!)