The phone call came two days after we were approved as foster parents. I was visiting my parents who live about an hour and a half away from me. A caseworker from CYS asked us if we would be willing to take a sibling group of three children. I told him I would have to speak with my husband before I could agree to it. I was a little concerned about being able to take care of three children but Rob said that he felt good about it. I let CYS know that we would take them. This was at about 3:00pm and they needed me to pick them up by 5:00 or as soon as I could make it back. I remember shaking because I was so anxious and I couldn't think clearly.
Rob and I met at CYS. We were lead to a room with a large conference table and several caseworkers inside. They had a few stacks of paperwork that we started going through and signing. We were amazed when we recognized the last name of the children. We went to church with people having the same name. We wondered if they were somehow related and figured we would find out on Sunday.
My heart leaps when I think back to the moment I first saw my children. I could tell they were worried about what would happen to them but at the same time I was a little surprised by how well they responded to us.
Emily (7) was softly crying. She came up to me and said, "My mom is dead." I hugged her and told her I was sorry. She stopped crying right away. I still have the striped sweater she was wearing that day.
Connor (3) was laughing and hyper (something he does when he is worried or nervous). He was very friendly and outgoing and very easy to like.
Christian (1) was so small for his age and he just slumped over and shrunk from anyone seeing him. He wouldn't look at anyone and kept his head down. He had a second degree burn the size of a softball on his stomach. He didn't make a sound.
This was our first meeting. We left CYS a little after 6:00 with three children who had nothing but the clothes on their backs. We took them to Burger King to eat where Christian threw up. The poor thing was suffering so much. We then went to Walmart to get some things that would be needed (pajamas, underwear, toothbrushes, clothing, diapers, etc.)
On the way home, Emily rode with me in the car. I told her that she could call us mom and dad if she wanted but that she didn't have to and that we could come up with something else for her to call us if she wanted. She thought about it for a moment and then said that she would like to call us mommy and daddy.
I am a mom...