I remember when you first came here. You were nervous. Would you need to take care of your baby brother? What is a foster home? “You are foster people!” you tried to make sense of it while talking to Rachael the next morning. But thank you for telling your worker that you felt comfortable here within an hour of meeting us for the first time. You were welcome before we knew your name.
I’m sorry about the lice and the baggy clothes. You were such a trooper. I don’t know what you came from, but you handled shots and dental care like a hero. Fillings are uncomfortable. Doctors are unfamiliar. And the ‘all new’s sure can overwhelm someone. Thank you for trying to sit so still through all the combings, and pickings, and recombings. And thank you for being brave while your hair was cut short. I know you didn’t want to. I didn’t want to either. But it had to be done. And now you no longer itch. We hope you never have to go through that again. You know, it’s funny how all that feels like an unreal bad dream when we look at you now.
I’m glad the spiderman border helped you feel loved. You matter so much to us. We were still just starting to get to know you back then. Feels like so long ago. We were just beginning to mesh together. Learning your favorite color, favorite foods, and favorite activities. We watched a lot of movies back then. Remember? You were still getting used to Rachael and Abi. New roommates are easier to handle with time. And it was still cold outside. And Little Man was sick.
It seems so long ago that all that happened. Such a blur. Introductions. Opening our arms and hearts.
And now it’s just like you’ve been here for years. We’re past the beginning rules. And on to the regular challenges.
You don’t put your hands up anymore. Remember that? You used to be scared when anyone would get into an argument. Now you know we’ll work it out. And we still love each other. And we’re going to keep each other safe.
You don’t need the closet light on anymore or the bedroom door left open. Remember that? I know, we still leave the closet light on. Helps to see Little Man when he sometimes needs a night bottle. But I’m glad you said you’re not scared to go to sleep anymore. And you jump into your bed with a hug without needing someone to sit with you. You’re so brave. And I hope if you do go back to Mom that you won’t feel scared to go to sleep there. Even if right now you’re still not sure.
I’m proud of you for making a friend (even if Daddy helped a bit). It’s so cool to get to see Bobby come over to play, even when he rings the doorbell while everyone’s napping. I’m glad he wants to see you. You are a great kid. You are A LOT of fun!
And honey, I know you hear me say this to you a lot, but that’s because I don’t want you to ever forget it… I love you. I love you so much and I care about you so much. I want you to be your best. And feel brave. And safe. And thank you for sharing with me when you don’t feel as brave.
I don’t know how long those adults at children’s services are going to be working with your Mom and Dad. And I know it’s a long time and feels like a long time. But thank you for being okay with staying with us for a long time while your Mom gets things done. And even if we’re only a stepping stone to renewed stability (you’ll understand what that means when you’re older), I’m really glad that you are with us. Yes, even when you get in trouble for bad choices. I’m still glad. Yes, even when we tell you to calm down and that you’re choosing to be annoying. We’re still glad that you are here with us. We are so blessed.
Thank you for asking me to push you on the swing. And hold your hand to play jumping games on the sidewalk. Thank you for running to show me a picture you drew at school or what you got from your Mom and Dad at visit.
I love being a part of your world.
I love you, Big Guy,