Last Night at about 5:30, Jessica got a call from the foster agency. Three boys were in need of a home immediately on an emergency basis. Not much is known about the situation, other than the fact that they do apparently have family, and while they had been in the system, the case worker was rather surprised to see them in need again.
We had to come up with a game plan. Their ages are (I think) 13, 8 and 9. This means that setting them up in a similar sleeping arrangement to the other three boys was not really an option. Also, pack ‘n’ plays or cribs, not an option.
One of the things we’ve learned about sibling groups, though (and really, we shouldn’t be surprised. And really, when I say “we” I probably mean, “me”), is that when they come as a group. they really want to stick together. So, Jessica and I decided that we would put them in the guest room. This used to be the room that ‘A’ slept in. It has a double bed and there is room to put what was ‘N’s bed which is not quite a twin, but it is close. I’ve lost track of how many bed arrangements we’ve gone through in the last year, but the number is up there and I’ve no doubt that it’s going to change again soon.
I was in the middle of my podcast when they showed up at about 7:40 with nothing but the clothes on their backs and a spare set of clothes. They also had a few things to put in the refrigerator. And sure enough, they were happy to be put in the same room together.
We were told, when we were going through the training that many times these children show up with nothing, and we’re already seeing that that’s the case.
This makes numbers eight, nine and ten individual/different children we’ve had in our home within the last year. I would even venture to guess that we’re the fastest family ever to hit that number. Of course, seven of them were pre-license, so it’s probably not a fair indicator.
I mentioned to Jessica how incredibly sad I get every time that phone rings or we find out that our roof and beds will be needed. She said that it hits her the same way. Knowing that every time we have new children with us means that something terrible just happened really keeps things in perspective.
We let the kids stay up a little late. They stayed up playing Mario Kart and it sounded like they were really having a good time. Jessica and I did not want to put an end to it. They needed some fun.
The oldest one is in Junior High. He kept to himself in their room and seemed pretty stand-offish with me. He was, however, a bit warmer towards Jessica. She has a way with making kids feel comfortable that I have not been able to emulate yet. Thank goodness she can do that.
They are a sweet group of kids and we hope they end up in a safe place. We know that they are almost definitely only here for a day or two before they likely end up going to stay with some relatives.
Logistics for getting them to school was a little bit of a challenge, but not as bad as I had thought it’d be last night. They all have to be at school by 7:35. The oldest one goes to a junior high on one side of town and the other two, an elementary on the other. Our kids have to be at school by about 8:20. The plan was that Jessica would take the two younger boys and I would take the oldest. She would also pack TJ up as well. Clearly, I was tired (that’s what I’m going with here) because it did not hit me that she’d be dealing with the lion’s share of tasks (not that she doesn’t anyway).
This morning, after my cup of coffee, it struck me that it made more sense for me to take the baby. Since the boys she was taking would require her to go into the school and the one I was taking only required drop-off, it made sense. She would have had to take the baby in with her where I would not. So, that’s how things went. And at about 7:20, she, the boys and Brenna went out one door and the eldest of the three, TJ and I went out the other. Eli, who isn’t feeling well, stayed home.
Unfortunately, it took me a bit longer with my charge to get where we were going due to traffic, so on my first drop-off, he got there about 10 minutes late. He says that it doesn’t matter, but I sort of suspect that it does. Tomorrow will be another day.
For those of you that are keeping track (I have to do an inventory, myself, daily), this puts the number of kids currently in our home at six.
The attic cannot get done soon enough.