I received a call about a month ago, from Miss J’s DHS worker. At first the call was normal chat getting caught up over details and information, and then just as I thought we were about to hang up, he says, “There’s just one more thing I wanted to talk to you about…”
Careful careful when ANYONE says those words, but when it’s a DHS worker – he most likely doesn’t mean “one more thing”…
He means, “one more child”.
“(Miss J’s older sister)’s foster home didn’t work out, she’s had to move back to a shelter.”
I had met J before. Once at the skating rink bday party I had for Miss J, and another time we had her, their brother, and their worker over for dinner. From the moment I saw J that first time at the skating rink, my heart was drawn to her. I wanted to hug her, to know her, to listen to her and love on her. I didn’t know everything about her story at the time, but I knew enough. Her story was the reason I had her little sister.
I thought about our rooms. Where would she go? Jacey and Miss J already bunk in one room, while KT has my old office. She’s 20. What 20 year old would want to share a room with anyone?
I thought about Jacey. Less than a year ago it was just us. Since then she had sacrificed everything to share her life, her home, and me, with others. Our household had doubled. What would one more child in our home, a teenager for that matter, do to her?
What would it do to us?
We talked a little more about J, but there was no answer I could come to in that moment. “I want her,” I told the worker. “But it’s not my decision. I have to talk to Jacey and get back to you.”
As the call ended, I realized Keliann is sitting right next to me in the car and can’t even get words out of my mouth. What do I even say? Um… Sorry, I know I gave you a room, but how about sharing it? Yeah we never talked about that, sorry for the short notice! Ugh. It’s one thing to have a heart and a passion for something. It’s quite another to impose it on others when it’s not a decision they have made.
“So…. J’s foster home didn’t work out”, I said shakily… ” She’s already been moved to a shelter. She asked (their worker) if she could come live with me.”
I could feel my tears welling up.
I didn’t even know how to ask.
But then… all of a sudden, I didn’t have to.
“Jacey and I can be roommates. Jacey can move into my room. That way the sisters can share a room.”
Did somebody say something? Because I thought I just heard my 20 year old say that my 10 year old could share a room with her?? That did not just happen. Did she seriously just say that? With about 1.5 seconds of hesitation?
WHAT? ON? EARTH?? WHO DOES THAT??????
A girl with the same heart, and the same passions as my own. That’s who.
You see, I don’t foster… we foster. KT is all over this stuff. Besides the special connection Keliann and my Jacey have had since before she moved in, she also loves Miss J like she’s her very own. And so in a heartbeat, she sacrificed. She made room.
God I love her.
I got that same loss for words when met with my Jacey’s big blue smiling eyes. Here again, how do I even ask her to give up more than she already has? But she has a right to choose, she has a right to know the situation and have an opinion about it. This is her home, her family, her life. If she has the opportunity to give or not, to sacrifice or not, she gets to have a say about it. That’s what free will is, and it’s always a good idea to allow our children the opportunity to exercise their free will. Otherwise, without that practice, they’re just living off of our decisions and that will do nothing to prepare my girl for life. But she doesn’t always choose what I hope she will. I wasn’t quite sure how this would go.
“I got a call from (the DHS worker) today.”
“What’d he say?”
“Well, he said things just didn’t work out for (J)’s foster home placement, where she was living… what that means is that she has to move and live back at the shelter…”
“CAN WE HAVE HER PLEASE MOMMY PLEASE!!! CAN SHE MOVE IN WITH US PLEASE!?!? (Miss J) WOULD BE SO EXCITED!!!!
Just. Like. That.
I never even asked the question.
And right there, I saw, again, the very missional heart in her that I’ve been praying for.
Because KT and I don’t just foster. Jacey fosters, too. She’s a foster sister, and I’m pretty sure God uses her in Miss J’s life way more on any given day than He does me. Easily. She’s seriously amazing at this love thing.
A few phone calls, a visit and a couple days of paperwork…
Followed by preparations of homemade name tags, door signs cards, and refreshments provided courtesy of the Littles…
Even Oreo got a nametag. Fitting.
And then there were five.
Well, six. Jace would literally come after me if she knew I didn’t include her precious cat in our “crew”. She actually did tear up the other day, confiding in me how upset it makes her that one day, one of the girls was “acting like Oreo isn’t even a part of our family.”
Yeah. There’s a lot of estrogen up in here.
The Littles also provided some karaoke entertainment for J’s homecoming festivities. The night…. was bliss.
I have no doubt that a great deal of why God brought me Miss J, was to get me to her sister. This girl… oh my word. In a year’s time she has moved twelve times.
Only three of those moves were to foster homes… the rest in, around, and between shelters. Her grades suffered, her friendships suffered, and my, oh my, how her heart has suffered. When she finished running down the list of her moving experiences with me, I just looked her dead in the eye.
“Ok,” she said. “Thank you.”
And then she hugged me. And she has not stopped hugging me since.
Girl is all over me. Craving that love, soaking it up.
All day with the hugs, kisses, holding, and squeezes…
catching up on love.
About a week after J came, she was sitting on my bed talking to me about life, as she often does.
“If anything ever happened… if my parents’ rights got terminated… would you ever think about –
“In a heartbeat.”
“But you don’t even know what I was going to ask!”
“ok, my bad. Finish.”
“Would you ever think about adopting me and… “
“In a heartbeat. I would adopt you girls in a heatbeat.”
She just stared at me. She looked so shocked.
“No one’s ever said yes before,” she said.
UGH. That means she’s asked before. Poor baby girl. To have to ask for parents… what is THAT? I could barely ask my girls to give up more space…
How on EARTH does one ask for parents???
“They always say they have to think about it… or ask their husband.”
“Okay, well not me. So you don’t have to ever ask that anymore, okay?”
“Okay, Thank you”, she said.
Thank you… she is always thanking me.
This girl is SO grateful for a home, for love. She’s so grateful for me. How wild is that? For me.. and what am I? Nothing. I just love on her.
Amazing how easy it is to be a foster parent.
To simply love on a child, and be their everything.
Welcome home J.
Here, take my heart.