I'm counting down the hours until my boys are here for good! This last weekend was another amazing weekend in the books! The boys all experienced a little taste of school, church, and some cousin time. They finally got to watch "the pizza man throw the dough up in the air", went to a free movie at the theater, and revisited the sledding hill in town! Amidst all the busyness of the weekend, there was a lot of playing, dressing up in costumes, building nerf war forts, painting, and just hanging out.
It is so fun to watch each of the boys and observe how they are taking all this change in.
(6) is the most ready and excited to just be here already! He wants a family, loves his siblings, and is attaching well to my hubby and I. He is pumped to be the new kid at school especially after he had such a warm welcome on Friday! He is very conversational and asks a lot of questions, always starting with "can I ask/tell you something?" He is a natural firstborn - leader of the pack, watches out for the littler ones, coordinator of all the details. He was adorable in church when our pastor made reference to them being there. "Mom, how does he know us?" "Well the whole church has been praying for you boys for a couple months" "([huge smile spreading on face] Really!?" He raised his hand for prayer requests to pray for our army, and then his face lit up when the Pastor did so.
(5) is a thinker. He processes things in his mind and then asks questions, always following our answers with, "ok, I got it!" The first weekend we met them, I had picked him up and danced around the room humming a song from Cinderella, and ever since he asks me to dance with him. Melt my heart! He is such a sweetheart, he doesn't love kisses but he does love affection. He is attaching well, but still iffy on whether he will call me by my name or Mommy. Sometimes it's "Mommy. Mommy. Mommy! SARAH!" He will randomly be super sweet, like at bedtime when he said, "Hey, you know those things you put on your face instead of in your eyes?" "My glasses?" "Yeah! You look kind of pretty with those." He's excited for school and asked me about 1,672 times what his teacher's name was again.
(4) is a little brute by appearance (and sometimes by action when interacting with his brothers), but don't let that fool you! He is the biggest softie of the bunch! "Mommy, can you hold me?" "Mommy, I love you." "Mommy, will you snuggle me?" He has a mischievous little grin and a contagious little giggle. He, like (5), likes me to dance with him, and he loves his sister Caroline! He liked seeing his class and meeting his teacher and Sunday School teacher, but doesn't gush about school like his brothers. He's so little yet, and this is all so new. The exchange on Sunday was so hard. His emotions were on high as we sat in a conference room with his bio grandparents and colored. I colored something the wrong color and that let loose all the emotions he had been keeping inside. When it came to say goodbye so that Grandma could drive them the rest of the way to their foster home he was still bawling, and when Grandpa lovingly took him out of my arms he scratched his nails on my arms trying to grasp tighter, screaming "Mommy! I want my mommy!" Break. My. Heart. 💔
It's just so much for their little hearts and minds to understand. They want and love their new family, but in order to move forward they have to say goodbye to the foster mama who has been with them through thick and thin the last 3 years. They have to say goodbye to their house, their school, everything that is familiar to them. I try to imagine my bio kids being in a situation like this and I can't even fathom.
With adoption, it's easy to say "they are so lucky", but in reality they are so unlucky. It's easy to assume, "they are so young, they are resilient", but they are not. All kiddos who have experienced the system are deeply affected and suffer a profound loss. Generally speaking, it doesn't matter how good their foster home(s) or foster parent(s) have been; they didn't enter the system because their home life was great. They endured trauma, or neglect, or exposure, or abuse, or some terrible circumstance(s) that made removing them from their biological family necessary. It's so unfair that in one of the richest countries in the world, there are 428,000 kids in foster care and about a quarter of those kiddos are just waiting to be adopted. For these 111,820 kids, the biological parents and next of kin have all been eliminated as options. They've likely already tried to see if their foster family is interested in adopting and have explored any other non-relative connections to no avail. So there they sit, waiting for their "forever family". It's just so sad.
So now that I've gone down that sad reality of a bunny trail, I will pep back up and remember that in 88 hours we are picking up our boys and bringing them home forever! Yay!