Three Days Later

As I posted before, we had three boys come to stay with us on an emergency basis on Monday. At the  time, the plan was for them to only stay two days and then they would be placed with a relative on Wednesday. But, as we’re finding out, things in the world of foster care rarely go as planned. We had been told this going into it and so, it was no real shock when the caseworker, after going to court today on behalf of these boys, asked us how long we would be willing to keep them.

The short answer: as long as it’s needed.

I have to be honest here. These boys have only been here a couple of days and they’ve already essentially won us over. Even Eli, who tends to be the most resistant to change, is having a good time with them.

We have ‘W’ who is 13 as the quiet one. He does not like change and has essentially only spoken when he’s been spoken to. It is obvious that he is fiercely protective of his two younger brothers, and being the oldest, knows more about what’s going on. I can only imagine what’s going on in his head and heart. Both Jessica and I agree that we can tell he has a good nature but we can also tell that he feels a little lost right now.

Then there is ‘C (age 9)’. He is quite a bit more talkative but he is gentle and, upon coming into our home, has really pitched in to help around the house. He and Eli and Brenna clicked almost immediately. He had to stay home on Wednesday from school because he got a bit of a stomach bug. Turns out, he’s not used to eating much, especially in the mornings.

Lastly, there is ‘S’ (age 8). Jessica and I have dubbed him “The Mouth.” Also with a good nature, he’s the imp of the three, always trying to pull something a bit mischievous but harmless. He likes to make up stories just to see how far he can take it before he has to cop to its fish story nature. Obviously, he’s the one we need to keep an eye on.

Tonight, Jessica and I thought it would be fun to take the whole group out to dinner. Without thinking much of it, we asked them what they liked and ‘W’ said he liked Golden Corral. Now, I’ve never eaten there, but I’ve heard that as buffets go, it’s not bad. Personally, I prefer to have people bring me food if I’m going to go out and pay for it, but that’s just me. So, at about 6:30, we loaded the Big Beast up and headed out.

When we got close, we could see that the parking lot was full and people were standing outside. I thought that strange for a Wednesday night until I saw the sign that said, “Veterans eat free.” Ahhh. Veterans Day. We decided to give it a shot anyway, found a parking spot and walked in. By the time we got to the door, they were letting people in, but it was packed. Typically, in a situation like that, I’d get impatient but I have to admit that knowing the reason that it was packed made me far more patient. In fact, I was happy to see the support and explained to the kids that it was for good reason that there was a line.

Still, it was a school night and the kids needed to be in bed close to on time. So, after ten minutes of waiting and ten minutes of the line not moving, we decided that we’d go somewhere else. The next option was Red Robin. We piled into the car and headed out. We spent the next couple hours there. These kids ate like they’ve never had food before but they were calm, respectful, and acted like people should in a public place. I’m sure that if they are going to be with us for a while, we’ll do it again. We had a lot of fun.

When we got home, getting everyone to bed was a bit tough. As I’ve mentioned before, we run a pretty routine house. Bedtimes are to be lights out at 8:30 for the young kids and 9:00 for the older kids. When you have kids come to live with you who are not used to routine, getting them adjusted to it can be difficult. And while everyone was in their rooms by 9:00, I could hear the boys talking until midnight before they finally quieted down. It’s ok. They’ll adjust. 🙂

Now that we’ve had three different groups of kids in our home, it’s interesting to see how much is similar between them and how much is different. Hopefully, the one thing they’ll all come to realize is that they’re welcome in our home and we will do everything we can to help them feel comfortable and safe.

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