On March 8, the Jones family changed. We went from being a family of 3 to a family of 5. NO, I did not birth twins… (someone seriously asked my husband this question)! We became foster parents to two great kids!!
Now we went through countless hours of training to learn about how to be great foster parents. But there are some things you just can’t learn from a lecture, a video or a class. It has been a HUGE adjustment on our whole family to go from having one child to 3. But I can tell you God is blessing this journey!
Here are a few things I have learned these past few weeks:
- Good parents let their kids be mad. In the Jones house, we do not allow stomping away, slamming doors, yelling at each other, etc. And since we have only had one child to care for, we have always just dealt with mad feelings as they come. However, we have learned that it is ok for children to be mad. Because in this world, not everything is going to go their way every time. Now, we still do not tolerate stomping away or slamming doors etc. But if you need a few minutes to go calm yourself down… Or if you need to just go be upset about whatever it is… that is ok. Learning to deal with mad feelings on your own is apart of growing up. And we are still here to love on them and help them when they are ready to talk it over.
- Going the to the grocery store can be fun alone time. Now I have never been a big fan of grocery shopping. It seems like it takes forever just to prepare to get there by making menus, clipping coupons, carving out time in my overpacked schedule just to make the trip. But it has become something I enjoy WHEN I AM ALONE! 🙂 Now, I love my family, however, taking 3 kids grocery shopping adds 3 times the “extras” in the cart, 3 times the whining and 3 times LONGER to get through. From now on, I choose to be joyful about grocery shopping, especially when I find the time to go alone!!
- Girls can have weird toys! For the past 8 years our house has been filled with balls, super heros, video games, cars, trucks etc. Now we have baby dolls and loads of stuffed animals. However there are these things called Monster High Dolls. They are monster “barbie-doll type” dolls. I never knew they made such things… but my Girly-girl LOVES them!!
- Sometimes the kids just need to work it out. Sometimes jumping in can make it worse. Sometimes jumping in is what you need to do. It is a very fine line to walk. WOW this one has been a tough lesson. Again, only having one child at home for the past 8 years has meant that we haven’t had alot of arguing over toys or tv shows or video games, unless friends come over. So I have not ever really had to worry about breaking up arguements or letting them settle the matter themselves. But now it seems as though I have a daily opportunity to fine tune this lesson. Things have gotten broken and torn but thankfully this is also a great opportunity to teach about forgiveness and grace.
- Detangler is a God-send. My biggest worry about getting a girl was dealing with her hair. (Oh, how silly this worry seems now!) My girl has a very sensitive head and does not like anyone touching her hair. So for the most part, I don’t have to worry about how to do her hair, because she wants to fix it herself. But I do have to make sure it is brushed and clean. Again, her sensitive head is not happy about this. However, detangler is truly a God-send, and has helped this situation a ton!!
- 3 kids drink a TON more milk than 1. 🙂 My kids can pack away the milk!! In the past 2 week, they have drank more than 4 1/2 gallons of milk. That’s alot of milk. But milk is a much healthier option than soda, so I am A-ok with this lesson being learned.
- Sometimes God puts being a foster family in your children’s heart too. The day after our “weekend trial visit” Adam and I had some great conversations with Andrew about how becoming a foster family would change our family forever. His responses were so sweet and I will forever treasure them in my heart. But God has definately placed being a foster brother in Andrew’s heart. Even though there has been many ups and downs, fights and tears, God is molding Andrew into a tendered-hearted young man who wants to love those God places in our family.
- The Jones family is now one of THOSE families! Ya know the years before you became a parent (or for some of you, those years when your children have all grown up and are out of the house) and you walk into a store or a restaurant hoping for a quiet experience, but then THAT family walks in. YEP, we are now that family. There is just a certain amount of volume that comes with having 3 children. And I am doing my best to embrace the noise, the blessings and the happiness there is with having 3 children in our family. Yes, I am sure we are in for LOTS of “looks” and “shh’s” but, what can you do?
My friend found a really cool project for us to do on the stairs of our home. I hope you like it as much as I do. It is a great reminder of what family should always be. I hope we can find some time to do it soon!!
In case you can’t read all the words, it says “In this house, we are real, we make mistakes, we say I’m sorry, we give second chances, we have fun, we give hugs, we forgive, we do really loud, we are family, we love.”