10- No more privacy. I always wondered why my mom would lock the bathroom door and scream I just want 2 minutes alone. The house is quiet, all the kids are occupied so I seize the moment to use the restroom. Like a SWAT team following an ankle bracelet I am found and suddenly, everyone remembers to tell me all the things they never knew they always wanted. The house is quiet, all the kids are playing and then I slip away to use the restroom. Within minutes, like a SWAT team following an ankle bracelet, I am found and the door is nearly beat down. Suddenly in my absence, everyone remembers to tell me all the things they never knew they always wanted. I am convinced kids have very selective super hearing, they hear the candy wrappers crinkle and the bathroom door close.
9- Nights out with friends have evolved into movie nights in blanket forts. I love our community, we have a lot of friends who have adapted with our ever changing family. Friends who come read stories, eat dinner and love us well. I adore our Friday ritual of pizza and movies.
8- My cute red Focus was traded in for a light blue Town and Country, we affectionately named Elsa. That step took my final carefree single woman card, I clutched the card, slightly hesitant to give it up. The vehicle search has taken on a whole new reality, I spend my Saturday nights drooling over 12 passenger vans, Nissan's new model is so sleek and so sexy (well, as sexy as a 12 passenger van can be). My children currently can all touch each other while we are driving, this must change!
7-I no longer communicate using complete thoughts or sentences. Parent brain is a thing, I think our brains click on and the hyperproductivity causes speech delay and confusion. I often lay in bed at night recalling all of the half sentences and conversations I said that day. I don't think I have had an complete conversation in 3 years.
6-I have learned there is no such thing as a lost cause. I have seen bonds built after 9 months of intense therapy. I have seen babies change in a matter of weeks. I have seen fears fade into nothing. There is always hope for healing.
5-Every thing in my home is suddenly sticky and/or wet. I would say at least 80% of my sentences start with the phrase, “why is this…”
4-I have fought hard to be a voice for those who have been silenced. I have learned to petition for my children. To advocate for foster care. To allow fears to be shared and stories to be heard.
3-I hear myself say all of the things, I swore I never would. We all have those phrases we pledged never to say, I say them all and some creative ones I’ve made up. I love teaching my children irony by shouting, “don’t scream at your sister.”
2-My interior design style is a mix of chic meets montessori preschool classroom with a bit of glitter for flair. I have learned to create a space that encourages learning but also doesn’t scream mom. This past week, we had a craft gone bad and ¼ cup of glitter was spilled on our carpet. As we all know glitter spreads like wildfire, so these days our home has a bit more shimmer.
1-I have seen first hand the joy of intentional love building a family. Bringing my children into the future plans for our family has been beautiful. We continue to open our home to foster care, however now we are doing it together. It has been a joy watching my children welcome in new little ones, they do so with such warmth, love and grace. I am praying that I raise a few kids who are a little more kind, loving and open because of foster care. That they would be secure in their future while always aware of their past. Reminding them to always remember everyone has a story.
Thank you to all the women who have shaped me, challenged me, believed in me and loved me so well.