As I have mentioned, there is a lot that has happened in our journey with S since we have been licensed that I will be filling you in on. There is SO much that happened in just how he was placed with us and the first weekend that, again, there will be multiple post. The timing of the placement and god planning literally puts me in awe, however this post is not about how he was placed with us but rather the first 18 hours he was with us.
As S walked in curled up in his caseworkers arms he was very timid at first. Right away we recognized him. Once she came in with him he slid down her side and hid behind her leg. She handed over an envelop filled with paper work. As she rattled off everything that was inside, Brandon and I stood there half listening to her as we looked at this precious little guy and tried to interact with him to make him more comfortable in our home. Although we were just taking him in as an emergency situation we knew the whole situation and wondered if he would be ours. Our chosen one, the one god hand picked for us.
It didn’t take long for him to warm up. (I may have opened the key to his heart with those kid friendly snacks I rushed to grab at the store an hour before he came.) I felt so unprepared to welcome him into our home. We had just gotten the call 2 hours prior and I barely had time to grab some juice for him on the way home from work but as he grabbed the snack from my hand I tried to hide the anxiousness and feeling of being unprepared from my face.
After a few minutes Brandon was able to guide him into the living room as his case worker and I tried to go over some paperwork and gain a quick lowdown on likes, dislikes, excreta. It hadn’t been ten minutes and there they were, sitting on the couch with S cuddled up next to Brandon watching sports. While his case worker and I continued to go over things we both had one ear listening to them interact with eachother. Then we both looked at each other wide eyed and she mouthed “Did he just say what I think he said?” and I mouthed back “I think so! What do we do? Do we correct him?” She said “no, I think its ok to let him move at his pace but I am shocked. In the two years that I have had him on my case he has never called anyone Daddy and now he just said it within 20 minutes!”
I couldn’t believe it, was he really saying daddy already? A million thoughts rushed through my head. Is that ok so soon? How precious is that! Is she sure we shouldn’t correct him? What if we do not keep him past this weekend? How will you explain that to him? It feels so right coming from him! Is Brandon ok with being called dad after 20 minutes of meeting him? Does he really want to call him dad or did he just forget his name and doesn’t know what else to call him?
As they continued to watch some hockey game S picked out, his case worker and I finished up our conversation and she left. The next few hours went extremely well. S was so polite, listened, said please and thank you and seemed to really be enjoying his time. Brandon and I couldn’t imagine it going any smoother, nor could we imagine that it didn’t work out anywhere else for him. Just then as we were getting comfortable things took a turn south.
Around bed time things got extremely difficult. It wasn’t your typical 4 year old “I dont want to go to bed” behavior. It was trauma, heartache, confusion, turmoil, anger and sadness all coming to light in a way that this little body did not know how to handle. The next 2-3 hours were probably some of the hardest and longest hours of our life. Things were thrown and broken, we were hit, kicked, bitten and bruised, his belongings were thrown all over our house, we were told really really harsh things, the couch was covered in can of sparkling water, pee was on the floor, if you could think of it….it was probably being attempted by him in that time. There were times in those two hours that I questioned if I would ever be good enough to be a parent period and even times that I questioned my teaching experience. Yet we knew that all of these actions and behaviors were not who he was, rather it was a reaction the the trauma he has endured in the past two weeks. It was the worry and confusion of what was going on. There we were all in his room with most things taken out by then and the door shut to keep him (and our house) safe. He was throwing all of his things. We let him sit there on the floor screaming and crying as he threw every piece of clothing he had and saying that he hated us and didn’t want to stay at our house. At that time he was not hurting us or himself so we let it go on as Brandon and I remained calm we tried to talk him through his emotions. After he stated that he did not like us and didn’t wish to spend the night we responded “I’m sorry you feel that way, but we like and care about you and this is a safe place to stay”. It was like a beaker had been flipped. That’s all it took. for someone to say they truly cared, even in his most challenging moments. He looked at us, his tight muscles eased and began to relax and he took a deep breath. He softly said “you do? you care about me? but why? Am I going to stay here forever?” Right away he started cleaning up all of his things and he quietly proclaimed “I’m ready for bed now”. (thankfully that reaction to his fear and trauma dissipated the longer he stayed at our house)
Once he fell asleep Brandon and I were exhausted and questioned if we were even cut out for adoption out of foster care or being parents but we agreed to give the next 72 hours everything we had. The next morning he woke up refreshed. We all sat in the living room watching Saturday morning cartoons.
Sitting there squirming around he asked a question I wasn’t quite sure how to answer. “Mommy, do you and daddy have other kids?” I responded, “No, no not yet” He asked “but why?” Trying to think fast and put everything in a way he might understand I responded. “Well, Mommy and Daddy just got married a little while ago and God hasn’t blessed us with kids yet.”
S looked at me with a “matter of fact” look on his face and he correct me. “yes, he did. God gave me to you! Right Mommy? …..He gave you S!…… It’s Mommy, Daddy and S……. God said. Right mommy?”
My eye filled up and my throat tightened to hold back the tears. Even after the roughest night, I knew he had it all right. That little boy, with the biggest most beautiful smile restated, just 18 hours of have been in our home, “God gave me to you!”. And so it was, validation from what I had felt months prior, validation from the joy we seen in him days prior and even in the darkest moments, validation that deep down, behind the doubt we knew, he was our chosen one hand picked from god. God gave him to us.