It has been 257 days since we finalized the adoption of our two youngest lovebugs. I can remember the first phone call we got asking if we were able to take a 2 year old boy. Our lives immediately sped up in a make-your-head-spin kind of way. You caught the two year old part right? We went back to combating two year old meltdowns and clinginess all while transitioning Eden to kindergarten. I used to say that if you ever wondered what an offspring of a bear and zombie would look like, you should just swing by my house anywhere from 2-5 and you would have your answer. She is now in third grade and the offer still stands. Although she is now very into taking care of her baby dolls so add in a touch of mama bear angst.
Watching the girls adjust to having a little brother was everything I needed to speak peace over the fear I had about the impact of fostering on the family. As the oldest, Ella was a pro. Eva spent a little while being upset that Kingston never said hi to her. Once she figured out that she could say hi to him and get his attention she was just fine. I am still not sure why the hangup on the greeting. Eden was the one I was the most worried about- a hybrid mama bear and zombie remember? She was so good with Kingston from the second she swarmed him in the driveway. Her larger than life imagination has his admiration to this day. She embraced the big sister role like she was born for it. I believe she was.
Shortly after Kingston came Kyla James. This little girl has been a party since the time she waddled into our home. Before Kyla, Kingston had his own room and I would tuck him in, play music in his room to drown out the bedtime tornado happening in the hallway, and then I would listen outside of his door as he sang along to the music. His singing was almost always accompanied by his signature somersault. When Kyla became his roommate they turned the somersault into flip attempts and dance parties. While their giggles were ridiculously cute, their bedtime parties were problematic. Kyla James now shares a room with Eden. This rooming arrangement was after Kyla had her toddler bed dragged to the guest room where she was parked for a while, then Ella’s room, and eventually into her bunk in what is now her and Eden’s room. She left a little sparkle (and spunk) in every room.
During the bedtime parties and dinner time performances, I had no idea, at the time, what the outcome of the case would be. I didn’t know what choices would be made by anyone involved or for how long the beds they used as stages would be their beds. I only knew that I was happy they were safe and I was committed to doing my part to ensure the best possible outcome for them.
During the 1021 days we lived in the uncertainty of the outcome of the case, we had an incredible journey. We established a relationship with their biological mother, we laughed at little things, cried at big things, danced in the kitchen. We celebrated birthdays and holidays multiple times. We learned to use words and the potty. We established new traditions and passed on some old ones. My favorite thing we did, however, was become a forever family.
Although these days are often long and filled with logistical ninja tactics, they are my favorite. Cooking dinner while answering emails and scheduling meetings and also driving kids around is exhausting but incredibly fulfilling. I literally don’t know what to do with myself if I am not having to do 7 things at a time. I am pretty sure I just get awkward.
So while 2020 has brought more than its fair share of chaos and confusion and fear, it also brought us the adoption of our precious babes. I am going to choose to celebrate the good that this year was for us and continue to fight to bring change for the good of the families and kids in the messy middle of the child welfare system.
Working to be the good,