Written in February 28, 2007, when we added Child #14.
The call just came. Actually, it came yesterday afternoon. Due to circumstances beyond her control, the seven-year-old sibling of three of our current long-term foster children needs a new home. I knew that we would take her because our mission has always been to keep sibling groups together. But our routine life is so busy, I don’t even get a chance to tell my husband until early the next morning, just as he wakes up.
“Honey, I forgot to tell you that we have a new child coming next week," I mention casually. "Actually, we know her. We have been taking her siblings to visit her and she’s the one that stayed here at Christmas and a few other times this past year."
“Okay,” he murmurs, as if I just announced that I was going to run to the store to pick up another 4 gallons of milk for breakfast.
This is so strange. When did adding another long-term child to the family become so routine that the entire conversation takes less time than brushing my teeth?
“She’ll be here March 6.” I tried to get the current foster mom to hold on until March 21 so that we can have a little more time to adjust to our latest models -- our 2-week-old grandchild and our 20-year-old college student that just moved back home -- but it doesn’t work out.
“How does she feel about it?” he inquires.
“Oh, I think she’s excited. She’ll get to be with her siblings and niece and she loves them,” I say hopefully.
So, we are now officially parenting 14 children, plus a grandchild at least 2 weekends a month.
The new one is a real cutie – but active. Things will be very different in a few days. She will arrive in the midst of the unstoppable routine of our daily lives. Yet another child joining us with no preparation, no real thought… just an acceptance that we are parents again.
People keep asking me if I feel stressed. I should be. And usually I am. But right now I’m just taking each minute as it comes. There is a point at which it is no longer possible to remain in control. To plan. To predict. I don’t know exactly which child caused me to realize this – but I finally did.
More times than not – which is better than when I was younger and I thought I had it all under control – I can actually remember that lesson and I just go with the flow.
Postscript: In 2011, we adopted this child and her siblings.
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