Yes, they are!
We finally (FINALLY!!) got a call from dss last week ... I couldn't blog all week because I was nervous that I would be too extroverted, as I'm apt to be irl - what if it happened on the blog?!?
The call was for respite ... a typical first step after getting approval for fostering in this county. It was a real eye opener!
The children were awesome. The whole weekend felt like attending one crisis - then another. We went from two children to four - two sets of two - each used to being one of two children in a home - not one of four!
It was nice to find minutes of breathing space and realize that respite had several challenges that fostering (longer-term-placements) will not. The second day was MUCH easier than the first and the second night was incredible (the first night we started bedtime at 7:30 and all four kids were still awake at 10 when we gave up, climbed into our own bed, and crossed our fingers that everyone would fall asleep eventually). It was interesting trying to mesh our lives with others, and children who are used to a different lifestyle (more urban, very scheduled days, etc). The second night all kids were in bed quiet (so I think asleep - but I wasn't going to risk checking!) but 8:30pm.
It was also interesting to see Noah and Del - Noah who wasn't that excited (for various reasons) about the idea of these specific children ... and watch the children glow in Noah's attention, and he in theirs. Del was very excited and adamant that the older of the two is her newest favorite friend. But there were challenges with sharing, which were interesting to see develop. Things that I didn't even realize were important to Del, came to light, as her preferences were challenged.
We had also been called at the end of last week for a placement. We said "yes", knowing this would increase the challenge. That placement didn't need us in the end, and I was thankful, in hindsight. Someone once said that everyone should have 6 kids to care for, for a set amount of time. Then three are removed. The three you're left to raise will seem like a breeze. I was appalled by this because I would never want to hand off half of my children! But I got the point that it's only hard when you haven't experienced harder!
So today, two kids is easy peasy. Even with one who threw up this morning and has unexpectedly fallen asleep on the couch.
And as hectic as this weekend was, we're in love with kids. We're excited about possible future connections with these two kids. It was also nice to hear my dad say that as he and my mom reflected on this weekend they agreed that high-stress is all that could be expected. Usually families have one child at a time that starts as a immobile infant. This was two walking-talking children at once. It was also such a short time that routines and expectations were unknown to all - something that would improve with time.
We're excited about these two and we're excited for the next time the phone rings, asking us to pause our other ventures, take time out, and dedicate it to a child or children who need some time with us.