Saturday we met the boys for the first time. They were pretty shy at first but after a few minutes they were ready to play. We spent about two hours at their current foster home playing with toys and just letting them get comfortable with us. On Sunday, we picked them up and brought them over to see our house. Our basement (full of toys and “designed” for play) was a huge hit. We spent most of the time there before taking them back to their current foster home.
Their ages are such a huge change from what we were used to with M & T. At three and four, they play pretty well with each other. From what I’m learning by reading The Connected Child about bonding through play, I am realizing we are going to have to be very intentional.
On Sunday evening, their foster mom explained to them that they would be coming to live with us. She told them that they could call us mom and dad (we had discussed this with her). She told us that they were very excited and were saying things like, “Our new mom and dad have a basketball hoop in their basement!”
We picked them up on Tuesday evening and they spent the night at our house. D2 (age 4) ran through the living room when we walked in shouting, “Hi Mom & Dad!” I know it seems sort of crazy that they are already calling us this. D and I are still getting used to it ourselves. What I need to remember is that just because they call us mom and dad does not mean they really understand those roles. They really do not have a great understanding yet of what parents are and more important than what they call us is that we can demonstrate to them good, reliable, safe parents.
I spent all day on Wednesday with the boys including taking them a doctor’s appointment for A (age 3). Taking kids in foster care to doctor’s appointments is always interesting. I don’t have any information they want on family history and what their early years were like. I feel awful saying, “I don’t know” to all the questions – “When did he start walking? Was he born full term? What was the pregnancy like?”
My interaction with the doctor was also interesting:
Doctor: So, you are their foster mom?
Doctor: How old are you?
Doctor: Do you have any biological kids?
Doctor: Are you capable?
Me: As far as I know.
Doctor: Is your husband capable?
Me: As far as I know.
Doctor: Well, it is really nice of you to do this for these boys. It is not typical that someone your age would make this decision. What is your religion?
I explained to him that we are Christians and that D is a youth pastor at a non-denominational church. I told him we felt called to foster care and that all the kids we have had have been great. I guess since he is a doctor he is used to asking personal questions (even though they had no relevance to why A was there to see him). I didn’t really mind too much since he was phenomenal with the kids who were bouncing off the walls most of the time during the hour and a half appointment. Also, I felt like he was giving A extra special attention since we are lacking so much family history on him. There is nothing too medically serious going on but this doctor seemed to be extra sympathetic to their situation. Plus, his questions seemed much less forward compared to the one A asked me when I took him to the bathroom:
A: Mommy, do you have a penis?
A: Oh, okay!
On that note, I have to say having two boys is pretty awesome. I’m sure we have our hands full in the weeks and months to come but we are enjoying getting to know them.