Just when I thought things couldn’t get any crazier, we received a phone call at 6:45 last night letting us know that there had been an emergency in the other foster home and they needed to bring the children to us right away. I had less than one hour to prepare myself, my children, and my home for three new children. To say I freaked a little would be an understatement. I mean, I had a two page list of things to do on Friday to prepare for their arrival Friday night. It was not suppose to happen this way. I’m NOT a ‘fly by the seat of my pants’ kind of girl!

The children arrived at 7:30pm on the dot. I took a deep breath and opened the door. They walked right in, without hesitation, introduced themselves, and immediately began playing the boys, who also proceeded to give them a tour of the house. The baby (18 months old) took to me immediately. I was told she was a little behind developmentally. I was told she doesn’t talk, make noises, and rarely has anyone seen her smile. As I laid her down to change her diaper, I realized she had three layers of clothes on. As I unzipped her jammies and opened her diaper, a smell filled the room like nothing I had ever smelled before on a human being. There is no way she has had a bath in the last week or two. No way at all. I immediately put her in the bath and I had to dress her in Owen’s pajamas because hers were filthy.

Their belongings fit into a large trash bag and a college-like chest. Most of their belongings were shoes, which I found to be very bizarre. 90% of their clothing was either too small, for the summer, or mildewed beyond repair.

The baby ate two fruit cups and a cereal bar when she got out of the bath. I rocked her for about 15 minutes and she went to sleep in her own little bed, in her new house, without so much as a peep.

The boys were another story. They were pretty wound up and took a while just to get them into bed. The four year old cried for about an hour and a half before finally falling asleep. Once all five boys were in their beds and half of them asleep, I climbed into bed with Jesse and Owen and cried as I held Owen in my arms and thanked God for everything I could think of. I was completely overwhelmed with emotion. I felt like I could throw up at any moment. My feelings were beyond description. Was it fear? Sadness? Anxiety? Joy? I still don’t know. All I could do was cling to God’s promises as I prayed protection, peace, joy, and grace over our home and our family.

I woke up to a screaming baby at 5:00am. I was thankful that she woke me up because it allowed me to gather my thoughts and prepare for the day. I held her, changed her diaper, gave her some juice, and checked my email. The boys all woke up cheerfully, ate breakfast, and got ready without complaints.

Once the dust settled and two of the boys were off to school, baby girl began to come out of her shell. It started with smiles. She also reached for Josh to pick her up this morning. By lunch time, she was babbling, chasing the boys around the house, and giggling at all sorts of things. She’s a perfectly normal 18 month old. When Jesse is at school, the four year old plays wonderfully with Owen. When Jesse got home from school and Owen went down for a nap, the four year old played just as well with Jesse. Joshua was counting down the hours and minutes until the ten year old got home from school. It was sweet to hear him ask, “Momma, how much longer until my big brother gets home??” I keep telling him he probably shouldn’t call him his “big brother or his “foster brother”, but simply a new friend.

This morning, I went into the garage to see if I had any clothes for the four year old. I stepped over a laundry basket and my foot landed on the pac-n-play cover. My foot slipped out from under me and I fell on my right side landing on a small trash can and Josh’s guitar amp.

I closed my eyes as I forced myself to take deep breaths.

I prayed and prayed that my ribs were not broken.

I hurt all over.

I think I pulled muscles in my legs as I tried not to fall. What hurt the most was my right side near the bottom of my ribs. I finally got up off the floor.

I was ok.

I definitely did not break anything.

I’m getting more and more sore as the day wears on and I have an enormous bruise and scrape on the right side of my torso, but it certainly could have been a lot worse.

Tonight, we plan to make pizza and watch a movie as we unwind from the whirlwind of the last 24 hours.

I covet your prayers as we continue to adjust through this transition and into a whole new world for our amily.