Sunday, May 7, 2017

Little Tired Souls

I barely recognize our home these days, we have been painting and creating the atmosphere of a new space. We have grown by 8 finned, furry and feathered friends, and one little weary human soul. Worn and heavy from the life experiences he has had these past three years. These past several years in foster care have taught me many things, like how to spot the signs of a neglected child. Little heavy dark eyes, worn exhausted bodies and little souls that are full of experiences and secrets that would make most of us shudder, stories unique but the result is the same.

These days my home is filled with contrast, from the varying wall colors, fuzzy chirping friends to my confident secure crew of three years. The Little One who comes on the weekends, Our Baby who entered our home just 4 days old is about to turn over 5 months and he explodes joy and light. The lightness and joy of my crew is so different than the presence of Little Man, his spirit so heavy.

I love the view of our home these days, all around we have very tangible lessons on hope, thriving and redemption. In the midst of each day I see the contrast of where we have been and what is possible with love, security and healing. I have always prided myself on the pleasure of variety, I delight in a little mix of everything. Early in my parenting a well meaning stranger looked at my crew and then me, with question in his tone he asks,

“These yours (gesturing towards my children)?”
“Sure are a lot of colors.”
“Thank you, I like a variety.”

I can’t help but notice the difference between Baby who I brought home from the hospital and the rest of the crew that experienced years of abuse, neglect and trauma before entering my home. For Baby my parenting experience has been pouring in, answering cries, nourishing his body and celebrating his wins. For the rest of the crew my role as mom has been those things plus detective, therapist, coach, doctor, voice of reason, and excavator of the heart.

Little Man has the body of a 3 year old and the soul of man, who has seen and lost so much. A man who is tired and worn. His body shows the scars of neglect and the pathways of his brain have been wired to survive. He is settling in, each day his tired eyes light up a little more, his smile widens and his body heals.

He has been with us two weeks, the bags under his eyes are fading, his eyes are engaged and his smile beams. We are settling in and working through each other quirks. He is learning that I mean what I say and if he wants ice cream he has to eat his carrots. His laugh is contagious and the way he says, ”oh” with a shoulder shrug and smirk warms my heart.

I have heard so often how resilient children are, they can heal and change faster than us. It is in the past two weeks I am reminded how true that is, just a couple of days you can see them bloom. You notice it first in the eyes, they engage and brighten. Then it travels to their smiles and finally you see in them, freedom to be and that is when you know that the deep healing is happening.

This is a sweet season, our hearts, rooms and van are full. Daily we dwell in the balance of structured chaos and adventure. Each sunrise beckons us towards the realities of the day ahead, reminding us that there is hope.


  1. I love Little Man! He is adorable and this post makes me oh so sad and happy at the same time.

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