Nearly 3 weeks ago we got a call from DFACS telling us that they had 2 little boys who were about to come into foster care. They were both in need of placement. Of the 2 we chose Malik who had come into the system for "abandonment." Since welcoming him in we have learned a lot more about his story. A number of you have asked where we stand with things so I wanted to use this as a chance to update you.
It turns out that at 2 months old Malik's mother gave him to a friend who in turn gave him to her grandmother. This lady took care of him up until a month or so ago when Malik's mom came to get him (Malik is 7 months old). She then left him with another person which is when the grandmother who had been raising him called DFACS to get them involved. So when they called us, he had indeed been abandoned but we just didn't know all of the details surrounding it. A week ago I would have said that it looks like we are not going to have the chance to adopt him, but only God really knows that. We at first thought he was leaving last week Thursday and after a tearful goodbye I got a phone call saying there was a mix up and he would be returning. I was then told that he would be with us through the 18th of August. Last night, however, Malik's caseworker came over and told us that we should expect that he will be here longer than the 18th. (On a side note she told us a story of a 12 month old that she had just visited and the foster parents are about to adopt. So encouraging to hear that!!)
So...how are we adjusting. Well I have to be honest and say that this transition has been really hard. It's difficult because our family has grown and with that comes growth of laundry and our overall responsibilities. I just looked at my post about grocery shopping and laughed. I have not been to the grocery store for a big trip since he came. At the same time, he could be leaving and we'd be back down to a family of 4 again which is why I think we just keep rolling along like "ahh no big deal". When you birth a baby everyone knows that life has to stop. When you're a foster parent it's a little bit different.
Since Malik has come we've had so many cool moments in the midst of the busy. We've watched our extended family become excited and on board with what we're doing, we've had countless conversations about foster care and adoption, and we've loved on this little guy along with our kids. One of the best moments is watching Malik respond to seeing Jude and Ellison after he wakes up! His eyes literally light up. They make him laugh so hard and they love to help take care of him. He has started scooting all around and eating food from a spoon, 2 things he didn't do when he came. Ellison commented that we should call his mommy and tell her.
We feel really blessed to be a part of his life and his story for however long God would have that to be. A friend of mine from small group commented that kids are only ours for a season. That is so very true and something that I've taken for granted with my own children. We are also sad for Malik to think about what his life will be like should he go back to a situation where his mom could randomly be in and out of his life. From what we found out last night, she is homeless and is expecting another baby. Malik had also been termed "failure to thrive" and was without any vaccinations or doctor visits upon his arrival. So sad to think that that is the reality for not just him but so many babies in our country and all over the world!
So we are continuing to press forward each day trying to figure things out and trusting God when we just don't know the answers. Thanks for all of your kind words, prayers and support. What a blessing it is to be surrounded by a community of people so involved in this guy's life.