In 2015, our heart and home opened to the world of foster care. We had 3 boys of our own, but we had room for more. In the fall of that year we were handed a 2-day old baby girl and her 18-month-old brother, our lives forever changed, and they have taught me so much about the sibling tie that binds. The bond that I have witnessed these two sweet babies grown into has been such a blessing to watch.
Whenever a child has come from life of hurt, something is missing in their sweet little souls on a very deep level. They may have experienced hunger, abuse, neglect, and have experienced very little (sometimes none at all) love, touch, kind words, nutrition and more. It's heartbreaking how just a few months of neglect in a child's life can shape them in ways you can't imagine. When our little guy arrived, he was tiny and... unafraid. He was brave and different. He didn't want to be touched or cuddled, held or rocked, sung to or read to; but boy could he eat. He ate like it was his last meal. It took me a bit to catch on to the fact that his little brain had told him daily that it could be his last meal.
It took time for us to realize what we really had our hands on, and that this sweet boy needed more than love, comfort, safety, and security. He needed therapy. He needed more specific prayer. That we could do. We tried many different avenues. His favorite was one on one play therapy, his least successful time was a government funded head start program. That's okay because something special was happening slowly, his sister was growing up.
Close to a year after their adoption, we sold most of everything we had, moved onto our land and started building our dream home. We have lived quite a life and he has had the opportunity every day to play in nature alongside his sister. I'm not saying nature is magic, but in this case, it has been healing. For both of them it has been grounding.
What I have witnessed between them in the last 10 months is their bond and her love for him is enormous. She takes him by the hand and leads him into play. She offers up ideas and games to play. She includes him in all her journeys she dreams up. He follows her. All the while, he shows his brave. He climbs the trees, swings from the ropes, catches all the lizards, and teaches her about the best bugs. She concerns herself with him when he's been away from her for over a minute. They go to bed at night and reconvene in the morning, hatching out new plans from what breakfast they can agree on to what mischief they can get away with.
She has been so good for him. He has been so good for her. More than anything I am thankful everyday they are together. I'm thankful they have each other. Sharing the story of all 5 of my babies learning from each other is for another day. This is the one I wanted to tell you about.
When we pay attention to our children, they can teach us so much about true love.
When we chose to walk into the foster system, we thought we could only handle one more child. We thought that would be enough. We also said, "Still call us if there are siblings." Our foster and adoption journey are full of miracles and blessings paralleled with brokenness and heart ache. Still, watching these two together, I can't imagine them every going a moment of their little lives apart.
Ashes to Beauty
Mourning to Dancing