Driving in the car, about a week after she was placed, little Isabel was trying to make sense of the world around her. She kept asking if my nieces and nephews were living with their real parents. In her world, kids were taken away from their own parents to live with another set of parents. I asked why she asked and she said her brother was taken like her and is somewhere else. What? A brother? Side note, when you get called for a placement you are supposed to be told if the child being placed is part of a sibling set. It was not mentioned, but I made sure to ask. I remember the response being it was not stated.
I phoned the assigned case manager, and he confirmed she had an older brother. He stated that he was currently looking for a home to place both of them and asked if we would be interested. I told him we would have to think about it. The interesting thing however, was he kept giving me incorrect information on him. He first told me her brother was 10. Ah a ten year old boy, I know next to nothing about them, not to mention what a huge age gap. A few minutes later, he called back and said he believed he was 8. Ok not as big of an age gap, maybe we can take him in… my thought process. He called a third time, no he is for sure 7. Shouldn’t you know this info?
I called Bryce to inform him about a brother. This was not an easy decision for us to make. We had just been licensed for one and had just barely became parents, how could we add a second so quickly? We are new parents! Well we chewed on this for awhile. The following week, we met Elijah as the two went off for their first family visit. He came into our home and was extremely quiet. We had just returned with Isabel from a family vacation to the beach and I had prepared a few pictures for her to share with her family. Isabel was beyond excited to see her brother. She wanted to catch him up on everything from their time apart. She enthusiastically shared the photos in the album. He listened to his younger sister, looked at the pictures, and timidly stole glances of his surrounding. He did not say much.
I immediately wanted to open up our home to him, but Bryce was more hesitant. Our agency was also very careful about changing our license. We began making preparations to for him to enter our home. We changed our family office into a boys room. Bought the furniture, decorations, and toys to make the room more inviting.
Two months later, we began to have weekly visits with him. He was in a group home about an hour away. We drove there, spent time with him, and would return home. On one of the visits, we received permission to take him to a foster care summer pool party in our area. We picked him up, took him to buy a swimsuit, went to the party, and drove him back.
Elijah has always been hard to read. He almost showed no excitement during visits. I will always remember the first visit we had with him. Isabel was beyond ecstatic to have her older brother back in her world. Elijah has always been a little unsure. I am sure we will share more about this in later posts. Anyway after a month of visits, he was finally able to transition into our home. With that transition, the crash course of parenthood began.