Living This Parent Life

So let’s give this a shot. The first time I thought about launching this blog, we had three kids and were in the process of becoming foster parents. I thought life was busy then.

Now, we are foster parents for two little girls. What did we do with all our free time before? Maybe as we go along, I’ll post a few looks back at how that process unfolded and how the first few months played out. For now, though, I’m just going to jump in because, well, I need to.

So here’s the skinny on the family:

Carter is almost 8, in second grade. Red hair,won his class spelling bee, loves UK basketball because I do, asks a ton of questions, loves Star Wars, Legos and his own room. We’ve seen him grow a ton since the girls came. Without his help, it’d be a lot harder.

Taylor is almost 5 and will start kindergarten next fall. You’ve never met a more pleasant, happy kid. (I know, I know — your kids are just as cool …) Smiles perfectly for pictures. Loves his brothers. Is surprisingly capable for a 4-year old. Seriously, the kid pretty much can take care of himself.

Gabe, 3, is the wild card. Also has red hair. Cracks himself up all the time — I’ve already preemptively apologized to his future teachers for the class clown headed their way. Has an incredibly cute dimple. Gets mad at the drop of a hat. Still loves his paci — yeah, I know. We’re working on it.

Vaeh, 3, started preschool a couple months ago. Has seen way too much change in her short life. Calls us mommy and daddy because — let’s be honest — what else would really work? Has a cough that comes and goes, the result of secondhand smoke and a way to deal with change. Cute, funny, independent, and learning to go peepee on the potty.

Lily, 2, is her sister. Wakes up cheerful every morning. Super attached to this odd, yellow, stuffed animal that she came with. Cries at the drop of a hat if something doesn’t go her way. But when you have to do that to get your mom’s attention — well, it’s understandable. We’re working on that too.

My wife makes it all go. She’s amazing. Raising five kids, teaching piano lessons, running the house. Couldn’t do any of this without her, my hero.

We live in barely-controlled chaos much of the time. We get questioned by people who can’t believe all the kids are ours. We get looks in public. We know when and where kids eat free. Our lives are not perfect. In fact, they’re downright messy sometimes.

We have more questions than answers. How long will we have the girls? Will we have the choice to adopt them? Do we want to? Are we giving our own kids the shaft? What if we want to have another kid of our own? How do we afford all this? How can the foster system be so screwed up? Is this really working? How long can we go without doing laundry?

I want to write about all of that. As I do, here’s the perspective I’m coming from. We get to do this life once. I’ve made a lot of mistakes and will continue to do so. But I want our life to count. I like that we get weird looks from people — it means we’re doing something bigger than they understand. We don’t even understand a lot of the time. But I know this and believe it even on days when every single thing has gone wrong and kids are screeching and food is on the floor and the doctor’s appointment just got rescheduled after we moved heaven and earth to get it scheduled in the first place and the girls’ parents didn’t show up for their visit which means my wife didn’t get a break which means she’s exhausted which means … even in all of that, our life is all about the grace that God gives us through faith in Christ. We love because he loved.

So, hang on. Here we go.