If there is one thing that fostering three kiddos showed us over the course of three weeks, it’s that people will surprise you and go above and beyond…
What we mean by that is that our family, our friends, and people we didn’t even know, showed up and came through when we didn’t even know we needed them to. And when we did need them to, they were there without us even asking. We were so grateful for everyone’s help and like we mentioned, don’t know what we would have done without them. Who is “them”? We feel the need to be specific here because it meant SO MUCH to us:
PJ’s mom, Lori, and his little sister basically moved in with us for the first week while we were navigating “parenthood” for the first time. If we had a question, she was there to answer it (like how do you wipe a baby girl’s bottom when they poop? Top to bottom or bottom to top?). She also was able to watch the kiddos when we had to run errands and absolutely loved it. She’s a natural and we couldn’t have been more grateful for her.
When she found out we started fostering the kids, PJ’s older sister, Meagan, loaded up her three kids, her dog, and her cat, and made the 13 hour drive from Virginia Beach, VA all the way down to Tennessee to help out however she could. The kiddos loved coloring with chalk, squirting water guns, and running around with her kids out on PJ’s family’s farm and she was a huge help with organizing their clothes/the house while she was here.
PJ’s Aunt Lisa had us all over to her house to swim at her pool and the kids. went. wild. They LOVED it!! They were fearless (which may or may not have been a good thing) and would jump into the water, knowing we would catch them every time. It’s kind of heartwarming to think about how much they must have trusted us to just jump into our arms without thinking twice about it. Aunt Lisa also brought us a ton of fall-scented Bath & Body Works wallflower plugins a few days after the kiddos went home to cheer us up. We are beyond grateful for her.
PJ’s cousin, Lauren, invited all of us over for dinner at her house with her family and her two little girls and cooked a ton of food, some that the kiddos would like, and some for the adults (how sweet and thoughtful is that?). After dinner, we all went outside and the kids were free to run around and play with all of their toys, including a blow-up bouncy house (!). Their yard is huge and fenced in, so the kids had so much fun running around and letting lose and just being kids.
Thomas’ older sister, Amy, has six kids and offered to load them all up and head to TN (from Georgia) to help with the kiddos. She was also extremely helpful via text/phone calls on grocery lists, potty training, and honestly the most random questions you can imagine. She has been a stay-at-home mom for the last 13 years, so we felt so comforted knowing we could turn to her for basically anything.
Thomas’ mom, Lila, brought over gifts for the kids when she first met them and made us a delicious broccoli, chicken, and rice casserole for dinner one night when the LAST thing we wanted to do was cook. Yum.
Our friend Brittany, who took the foster classes with us, came over with her mom and brought a huge basket of goodies (the pic below) for the kids, along with dinner for all of us that night. It was the sweetest, kindest thing ever and we’re still not over it. Not only that, but she made a post on FaceBook and people were donating money to help out, so she also brought over pull-ups and diapers and wipes. We couldn’t believe it. Stunned and grateful are both understatements. Oh, and she offered to make us dinner every Monday night. Can’t with her. Thank you so much, Brittany!
One of Thomas’ family’s childhood friends (and a member of Brittany’s church), Ladah, made dinner for us (below pic) and brought it over with her family to meet the kiddos. It was absolutely delicious and that reminds us, we’ve been meaning to text her for the recipe. Thank you, Ladah!!!
A former client of PJ’s-turned-friend, Ashley, made dinner for us one night, complete with bread and avocados. It was a chicken noodle soup type dish, but with spaghetti noodles (pictured below). Doesn’t that sound good? The kids love any meal with noodles in it, so this was a huge hit with them. Ashley, we can’t thank you and your sweet family enough!!!
Thomas’ younger sister, Sydney, had an old coworker of hers reach out to her and offered to donate some old baby clothes that she wasn’t using anymore, so Syd brought those over on their last night with us to take to their grandma’s. How sweet is that?
A friend of Brittany’s, Julia, dropped off a $50 gift card to Zaxby’s on our front porch one night. We’ve never met her, and she doesn’t have social media for us to get in contact with her, but isn’t that the truest definition of “kind”? Helping a person you’ve never met. Thank you so much, Julia!!
All of you! Your sweet and loving emails, comments, messages, letters, all of them. They were so helpful and meant so much to us. You shared words of encouragement, but you also shared your own stories of being involved in foster care, whether that was a foster parent or actually in them system. Thank you, so much, for your honesty and candidness and love.
We can’t thank you all enough for the help you provided during those three weeks. We wish it was longer, but we’re feeling optimistic about the future and we can’t wait to take you along with us :).