I am going to try and make this update short and sweet! ..but I usually end up being pretty long winded, so sorry in advance if it becomes lengthy.
We have had our little love for one week and one day. It’s crazy to think that our lives and our hearts have changed so much in such a short amount of time. A little over a week ago, we were living completely different lives. We had the freedom of doing things (waking up, going to bed, eating, watching TV, going out, having people over, etc) whenever we wanted. Now.. our little love comes first. I think it would have been really easy to see it as a burden (ya know if you ignore that fact that we signed up for this), but it has been a blessing in so many ways. I keep having the thought, “Wow, little love has made us into better people.” And it is so, so true. Because of our little love we now:
- Spend more time together. My marriage is stronger now that we are parents. We have no choice but to get up when little love wakes up, eat three meals together (when we are not working), go on outings together, communicate more, etc. Before little love, we would overthink about money when talking about going out a lot, date nights, daytime activities.. we never felt like it was worth it for just the two of us (which is not okay, by the way.. but I’m just being honest). Our thought was that we could have fun just being together at home or doing some low key, but it sometimes led to wasted time together where we weren’t really connecting. Now, we want little love to experience everything. We don’t come up with excuses. And yes, it’s the three of us, but it’s still been really special time for my husband and I.
- Clean and stay organized. Okay.. sounds funny, but it’s true. I want little love to have a safe, clean, organized home. And while I may never keep up with my house like want (or say I want) to, we have gotten SO much better about it in the last week. Like, to the point where I feel like people could just drop by and I wouldn’t have to frantically clean up. There is a lot more “stuff” now that we have a child and it’s better to just stay on top of it. Oh and social workers in and out of your house is definitely a motivator as well (seeing good in the system!). So yeah, we clean more. And that’s good.
- Fight less & love more. We want little love to see what a healthy marriage looks like. While my husband and I definitely do not always agree and we are not always happy, we have been MUCH more intentional with fighting fair and talking things out, rather than dealing with disagreements in an unhealthy way. We think before we speak, because we know that little love is listening and watching, even if she is so young. We also make sure that we show affection and tell each other we love each other in front of her. It may all sound silly.. but it really makes a difference. A week ago we started doing this intentionally to be a good example, but now it is natural.. and it’s a beautiful part of our relationship that we had let slip over the past two years.
There are so many other ways we have changed too: I read more, because I want little love to see someone reading for fun (she’s not always interested). We see our family more, because we want little love to be a part of it. We eat better, because we want little love to be healthy and she eats what we eat. We appreciate each other more – and we vocalize it. We make sacrifices for each other, tag team, and learn from each other. This whole parenting thing is BRAND new. One day we were a young married couple with a dog we love a little too much, the next day we were parents of a toddler. Her world became our world.. and all three of us were thrown into a brand new normal.
Okay, because foster care isn’t about becoming better people and it IS about children:
Little love is THRIVING. I keep telling myself that anyway. I am pretty sure she would be thriving with anyone, because she is STRONG and resilient and an incredible little girl. She’s been torn from everything she knows.. and she still laughs and sings everyday. She meets new people and wins them over immediately. She makes us laugh, she asks us questions, she reminds us of the little things. We are aware how blessed we are to have her as our first placement. I expected sleepless nights, tantrums galore, behavior problems, and full on #mombie status. Instead we got a toddler that sleeps through the night, naps everyday, and looks the cutest when she cries about not getting her way (I’m not horrible.. it’s just a fact). In training we were prepared for the worst, and we feel like we have gotten the best. For real. Don’t get me wrong.. there are hard moments, scary moments (please tell me how to make a toddler NOT fall), and moments where I straight up think “We are actually crazy for doing this.” But mostly there are beautiful moments. Beautiful moments of healing and love and growth.. for not only her but us as well.
Okay..also had to answer a question I’ve been asked again and again:
Will you take another child at this time? My husband would tell you no, and I would say I don’t know. The truth is.. we may not have little love much longer! Which, as you know, is a good thing (we are FOR families). If we were planning on having little love long term, I would definitely say no to a new placement at this time. We are still transitioning, we don’t know what everything will look like when I go back to work, and we still have some adjustments to make and things to plan ahead for. But since we probably (but who knows in foster care) won’t have little love for much longer, my heart keeps telling me we should say yes if we get another call. It took us a LONG time to get our first placement, and maybe it’s selfish, but I don’t want to wait that long again. So if we get a call.. we will talk and pray and make the decision we think is best at the time. For the record, I don’t think we will be getting any calls. But who knows what God is up to 🙂
That’s all for now!