We met Faith and Brian on a Tuesday. Wednesday we scheduled time to take them out for a short visit with us. We met their foster mom at their day school and took them out to Wendy’s. On the way into Wendy’s Faith asked what they should call us. When Kirk asked them what they thought, Brian piped up right away, “mom and dad”. Faith looked like she was thinking or waiting to see what we said. We told them that if they felt comfortable with mom and dad that was fine with us, but if they weren’t ready they could take their time .
Over dinner we were getting all kinds of questions. Faith asked, “So, the Element, is that your car or our car?” and she made a motion with her hand to indicate all of us. I said, “our car.” She seemed to get a kick out of that. They started saying things like, “when do we get to see our house. What are the names of our cats again? On and on with our.
After Wendy’s, we went bowling, Faith was very chatty with me. Brian followed Kirk everywhere and took every opportunity to say “dad.”
When our visit was over, none of us wanted to leave each other.
The next day was Faith’s birthday so we called her on the phone to wish her a happy birthday and that we would be at their birthday party on Saturday. As soon as Kirk hung up, the phone rang-it was Brian saying, “Hi”.
Friday we picked them up and brought them to the house to show them their home and their bedrooms. They loved seeing their rooms and meeting the cats. We had some dinner, strawberry shortcake and went swimming. As soon as we told them it was almost time to go back and that they needed to dry off, Brian had a meltdown. He refused to get out of the pool and just went completely wild. It was the first time we had seen this side of Brian and it was a startling dose of reality. He had this crazy look in his eyes and took some time to get him to comply.
On the way home he was pretty wild and was getting his sister worked up. We lost our way for a little while on the way back to the foster home. Faith asked if we were going to have to spend the night in the car. Brian started laughing uncontrollably.
By the time we reached their foster home we were all a wreck. Brian ran out of the car, arms flailing like crazy and ran into the arms of his foster mom. Faith just walked with her head down. The foster mom looked at us and then at them, “Is everything ok?” I wondered if the kids were thinking they had messed up and we would change our minds.
On the way home I kept seeing Brian’s’ crazy eyes and playing over and over what had happened. The reality of what we were about to take on was heavy on us. We had a hard time sleeping that night. For the first time in my life I felt like I was going to have a panic attack. I kept imagining that the next 10 years would be like this.
Kirk and I had long conversations. Could we do this? They were already calling us “mom” and “dad”. We felt like we had no choice but to make the hard commitment to do whatever we had to do and get whatever support system we needed, to make this work. For the sake of the kids we had to do this. We were going to wear our knees out in prayer, and we were going to have to stick together as a couple like we never had before.