Friday, May 25, 2012

Foster Friday: It Takes a Village

The "It Takes a Village" concept has been at the core of our decision to become foster parents.  We feel it is our way to be active participants in that village.  It is all about taking care of each other, right?  We are obviously committed to caring for the children in need.  But we are also committed to help the birth parents too through modeling good parenting and alleviating the stress of the day-to-day parenting so they can get back on their feet. This all sounds wonderful and quite euphoric, but then it always comes done to one question.  Can we really do this?  And the answer to this question is where the "It Takes a Village" concept shines.  We absolutely can with the support of our village.

Our village had already hooked us up with all things needed for happy kiddos.  First there was the incredible generosity at our showers (here and here): books,  blankets,  high chair,  rubber ducky,  carseats,  diapers, crib soothers, stroller, clothes, bedding, baby-proofing items.  Then there were items that were already broken in with love: more clothes (worn by some of our favorite little friends), wooden horse scooter, diaper bag, toys, swingset.  And most imporantly the items we didn't know we'd need: O-ball that "all babies will love" that Carrots was enamored with, non-leaky sippy cups, dishwasher basket for all of the sippy cup's parts, apple juice (Thank God for apple juice).  And so much more baby things that I can't list them all!

This weekend with Peas and Carrots was the first time we saw the village in action.  And let me tell you, we were completely blown away by the support given to us.  Emails offering anything (clothes, toys, advice, grocery runs) we needed.  Stopping by to check on us (and see the cute kids).    Texts asking if we needed anything.  Neighbors understanding when I dropped my responsibilities at the block party.  Friends understanding why we didn't make it over to say hello at the block party.  Phone calls making sure everything was going smoothly.

But hands down the best part of the entire weekend was when the village supported the kids.  They introduced themselves.  Introduced their kids.  Had talked to their kids previously about our visitors so Peas and Carrots wouldn't have to answer uncomfortable questions.  Invited them to a birthday party.  Understood when they were overwhelmed and not so friendly.  Played games with them.  Made them laugh.  Danced with them.  Gave them special treats.  Invited them on playdates.  Gave them hugs.  Loved them.

The village embraced these kids so much that Peas even got this very special letter from a very special friend.

Dearest Peas,  Its me.  Kayah.  The girl you played with, danced with, and held hands with.  The girl who gave you a hug because you were sad to leave me.  Now remember?  Whell, anyway, just wanted to say hi.  "Hi,"  And, that I love you.  You are the missing peice my heart needed to be ful.  To be complete.  Sincerely, Kayah
This letter might have made me cry.  I am just so thankful and in awe of all of the people (family near and far, neighbors, friends, coworkers, online friends, strangers) who are cheering for us, supporting us and have our back through this crazy journey.  We aren't alone.  And it is with their support that I'm confident we will make a difference in these children's lives.

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