We finished our paperwork with our foster care agency around the first of December, knowing that the state would have 50 days to return our license. Since we were out of town for the holidays, we assumed other people would be too. This led us to believe that we could expect our license around the end of January.

We returned home on Saturday, Jan 8th. Exhausted from the previous three and a half weeks we dumped all of our luggage in the living room and flung ourselves on the couches in the family room. Over the next 36 hours, we slept through about 25. With the impending snow, I decided 10pm on Sunday night was a good time to make a trip to the grocery store for some cheap “food” to get us through the next days- as we would most likely be snowed in. (even though it was only supposed to be a few inches- everything shuts down in this town when it snows)

So I went to the store and bought ramen, ice cream, cereal, milk, bread and tuna. See, “food”. Remember we’d been gone for 3+ weeks, so there was NO food in the house.

Anyway, at about noon today I emailed our social worker to see if they’d heard anything back from the state yet. The reply was something along the lines of, “I haven’t received it yet, but call me when you, I have two boys that need emergency placement.”

I showed the email to Brett and we just sort of looked at each other like, “uhhhh”. Mostly we were thinking, “crap, our house is a huge mess, we have no food in our cupboards, the second bed isn’t even put together yet!” — let’s call and get the details.

We call, phone’s on speaker. The social worker gives us the information she has, which isn’t much. I looked at Brett and whispered, “what do you think? Do you want to talk about it and call her back?” He said, “I don’t know what there is to talk about”. Less than two hours later they were here. Two boys, ages 7 and 9.

Due to confidentiality agreements we can’t share details, but I can tell you that they are two good lookin’ kids. The first half hour was rough. They both just kind of curled up in a ball on the couch in the front room. We gave them a while to just “be”- sad, angry, confused…all of the above and more.

After a little while I went in and asked if they wanted to play Wii. They lifted their heads and both said yes. So Brett got the Wii going, helped set up Miis and got them playing together. He and I just sat, quietly…in the same room. I gradually began cheering for them when they had a good swing on the golf course. They seemed to loosen up fairly quickly.

Because they didn’t come with anything except pillows and blankets and the clothes on their backs, I emailed two friends from down the street who have boys the same age. Fortunately they were both eager to help and one had a backpack full of stuff within 30 minutes. Thank you Angie!

I told the boys that I was going to make dinner and gave them the choice between pb&j or grilled cheese to go with their Top Ramen. (not the meal I ever envisioned for a first night with kids) One chose the pb&j and the other chose grilled cheese.

I tried to be pro-active. Telling them the plan. Eat, shower/bathe, jammies, Wii. They listened, understood and agreed to the plan. All went well.

At 7:30, I told them 30 more minutes of Wii, then quiet time. I didn’t really have a plan for quiet time but I knew that they had a really long day and figured they were probably exhausted. I thought maybe they’d like to read some books or something.

We went up stairs, with books, and they immediately crawled into bed. It was the worst part of the whole day. I didn’t know what to do. How could I make sleeping in some strange people’s house any easier? We’d role played this in class, but the role play included the “child” not wanting to go to bed. These little guys just laid down, quietly. I wanted to hug them but I didn’t know what to do. All I could think about was how I couldn’t imagine what they were thinking, what they were going through. I just told them, “it’s okay to be scared and sad. it’s okay to cry. but if there is anything we can do to help them, please tell us.” They both said okay and then curled up in little balls with the covers over their heads in their beds.

Walking out of that room was so hard. I didn’t want to leave them, but I know there’s nothing I can do to make it better–right now. Even though I WANT to smother them with love, it’s not time yet, hopefully soon. I just stood at the bottom of the stairs for a few minutes and listened. I could hear their voices but I couldn’t make out what they were saying. I also heard some sobs and lots of sniffles. After about 15 minutes, I couldn’t stand it any more. I went up there to make sure they were alright. They both said they were okay.

45 minutes later I went back up. The older boy was asleep but the younger one was still awake. I asked him if he wanted to come downstairs, he said no. I’m hoping he’s fallen asleep by now.

One day down.