This week I have learned many things:
- Finding a food that starts with “j” is hard for 7 and 8 year olds (and a 26 year old), and I love making up new (alphabet) car games.
- I love children. I mean, really love them. I find them energizing (and exhausting) and am good at marshaling playground antics and engaging overactive or shy little people.
- Olives can make any food have one, two, or three eyes.
- Driving over a thousand miles in under a week (back and forth between Sacramento and Berkeley) is exhausting and exhilarating when you have two adorable kids in the car with you.
- It takes less than a week to fall in love with your children.
The second time we saw the girls, they ran to us and gave us hugs, melting our hearts. Less than a week later, we took the girls home for a day to show them our house. During that visit, S asked Kate to play "mommy" and the girls asked who slept in the second bedroom. They told us they loved us and we reciprocated (because it is true!). There was an incident with the dogs and it became clear we’ll have to choose between the puppy and the girls. The choice was hard, but easy. Girls, of course. (Btw, anyone know anyone who wants a really sweet, cute puppy - details here. We want to have her placed before December 19.) On the drive home, they asked how many other children we were hanging out with. We gave the coy answers the social worker told us to say, resulting in tears and fears of abandonment. Leaving them at foster mom’s was so hard that night.
A few days later they came “home” (their words, not ours) and slept over. They asked questions that break your heart and exposed their desire to be part of a loving family. We called their social worker the next day and said we loved the girls – they’re perfect! – and … can we take them to Thanksgiving? Can we take them forever? Can they be ours yet? (Okay, I might not have asked all of those questions exactly.)
And the social worker said YES! When she said that she will submit the paperwork and we can have them for Thanksgiving, I jumped exuberantly, making the social worker – over the phone – laugh with glee. She said, “I can see you jumping and running to get Kate,” which was, of course, what I was doing. So, on Tuesday, the girls’ social worker requested the court’s permission to place E and S in our home. The court’s response is expected to take a few weeks, but we hope the sisters will live with us full time after December 19.
I want to say something about this week’s parsha, Vayeitzei, and connecting it to travel and divine intervention, and promises about your descendants, but right now I’m too tired. Between the girls (driving, social workers, paperwork, shopping, parenting) and finals I’m getting little sleep. I’m also thinking about Ferguson, about racial injustice, about the fact that we’re going to be parents to two girls with darker skin. About the fact that we’re going to be parents. To two girls.
This week I have learned many things, and I can’t wait to learn what it’s like to be a parent to E and S, two sweet, spunky, energetic, loving sisters who will shortly be our daughters.