"Oh my gosh. I'm so tired."
I have dirty, little socks in my house! They are on the couch, in the bed sheets and on the bathroom floor.
Toys are in the bathtub. Toys are on the kitchen table.
There is fake sand on the hardwoods that is gritty and slippery in socked feet.
There is sparkly, blue toothpaste spit in the sink and a tiny toothbrush in a cup.
A nightlight is casting stars on the walls and ceiling.
The $15 stuffed deer has a name.
Two adults in survival mode laying on the couch.
A little person sleeping in the bedroom down the hall.
Disclaimer: Mild language.
Adam and I are standing at the edge of a calm pond dressed in our bathing suits, life jackets, goggles, ear and nose plugs, holding a safety ring buoy and towels. Every inch of skin is covered in sunblock.
The water is the foster care system.
I bend down and touch the water with my index finger. I don't dip in my toes because my balance is shit.
We had prepared as much as we could or enough to have peace and we said yes to providing respite for a foster kiddo. (Respite is sort of like babysitting for foster families. The foster child will go to a licensed foster home for respite care so the foster family can take a break, go out of state or the country because foster kids cannot stay overnight just anywhere, even a foster family's immediate family because of laws governing welfare, safety, etc.)
39 weeks to. the. day. of submitting our application to foster, our first young'un stayed in that bedroom.
It was only for a weekend but we couldn't have asked for a better experience. She was a hoot; jolly and sassy. Her laugh was infectious. Adam bought enough bubbles and wands for the whole damn neighborhood and they lazily napped and watched movies on Saturday while I was at work.
I realized a couple of things after she left that Sunday. I was exhausted, mentally and physically. We've kept our nieces and nephews overnight before so I knew the fatigues of keeping a child entertained, bathed and fed.
My home is my sanctuary, where I unwind and do what I want. Having her here made me ask myself some tough questions like am I willing to stop cussing and watch what comes out of my mouth? Do I want to have change forced upon me? Because having a kid full time in the house will make me change things about myself that I like and enjoy doing because they would not be a good influence on a child.
The answer is a resounding yes. God brought me to this place in my life and I really love who He's made me to be. Even though I have some uneasy feelings toward changing what I like about myself, I trust Him enough that I'll love the future "me" even more than I love the now "me".
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12-14