Monday, June 4, 2012

First Day at School

Dear Junebug,

I've been slowing down in getting your story written. But, I think I'd better hurry up! You're keeping me on my toes and you aren't slowing down anytime soon! You're almost walking already. Sometimes you act shy around strangers and tuck your head into my shoulder. Which, I admit, I love! But, you're never too shy to keep peeking up at them, and eventually come out for a smile. You love saying the word "duck"! Everything is "duck". Our doggy is a duck, any bird you see is a duck. And I think you just might be learning what mama and dada means.

We get to celebrate your birthday this week! I'm amazed you've been with us almost a whole year! When you're in a foster-family, you don't always know if you'll spend the next birthday together. So, having your birthday come around (which is very close to the anniversary of when we took you home) is a really big deal. I am so grateful for each of the 365 days I've gotten to watch you grow from a teensy tiny baby into an amazing toddler! I am so grateful for the gift of each day with you.

Well, before your next birthday, let's get back to your story...

Our foster and adoption agency wants to make sure that they find the best parents possible for their kiddos, so after we filled out forms with questions, we got to meet a really nice lady from the agency. I made apricot scones and cleaned the house from top to bottom! Daddy and I really wanted to make sure she knew we could be good parents. She was very sweet and after just a few minutes I could see that there really wasn't anything to be nervous about. They weren't looking for perfect people (lucky for us!) just for people who have love to give to kids. After talking for a bit, she thought we seemed like a good match, so she sent someone else from the agency to ask us even more questions. It was actually kind of fun, because they asked questions that were good for us to think about. Some of the questions were ones that were very near and dear to my heart and even made a few tears well up in my eyes.  But our question-asker was so kind and I really didn't mind at all. After that, we had to wait a bit while they took our answers to a bunch of other people who would decide if we were a good match for the agency. In a few weeks, we got our answer. We were in!

Next we got to go to classes to teach us about foster-parenting. I felt a little bit like you might feel on your first day of school. I was looking around, wondering about all the other people there. Did they know more than me? What was class going to be like? Would I fit in? Was it going to be hard?  Some of the other students were parents already and some were as new as us. There were all kinds of different people. Some were twice my age, and some ten years younger than me. Most were married, but a few weren't. It was really neat meeting all these very different people, knowing we all had something very important in common. Everyone was excited to meet each other and sometimes our teacher had a hard time getting us to stop chatting!

I don't think we were ever too surprised by the things they taught us, because Tim and Wendy had been such good teachers to us already. We learned about a bunch of legal stuff, as well as heart stuff. We learned about the history of foster-care and adoption. And we heard lots and lots of stories about kids who had found safe and loving homes after going through really terrible things.

I also got to meet some giants! Well, they weren't actual giants. They weren't really really tall like Goliath or anything. But they were giants in another way. They had spent so many years with so many kiddos learning how best to love them, that it seemed like their hearts were huge and their brains really full of wisdom and experience. I felt like a little shrimp knowing how little experience I had (zero!). It was a little intimidating, and at the same time, it was exciting. Even giants had started somewhere. It felt good to be putting my little feet inside the big footprints they'd left for others to follow.

Month after month, we took classes and filled out paperwork. Then we would take more classes, and fill out more paperwork. We had to get everything in order and just right before we could become parents. We had to find a good babysitter, make sure our car worked well, make sure everything in our home worked well, we went to the doctor for a check-up, even our doggy had to go to the doctor and make sure she was in tip-top shape! But, it really wasn't overwhelming because they just gave us a little bit to do at a time. So instead of one huge daunting mountain it was just a bunch of little hills we had to climb.

Besides all the preparing with classes and paperwork, we were preparing a room for you at home too. I got started on your nursery! It was fun watching it come together, and month after month, it got closer to being finished. I loved being able to see something to remind me you were on the way!  I'll show some pictures of your rocking chair, and your changing table just for fun in your next letter!