Our lives have changed a lot in the past few months. With the changing of the seasons, I've been reflecting on just how much has changed over the course of the summer. Four months ago, as we were still mourning the loss of our first foster care placement (read more about that here), we were asked to temporarily care for two youth from Afghanistan. While I had some serious fears and doubts about my ability to care for two youth after such immense heartbreak, we agreed to take the boys in.
The first few days were rough. Slammed doors. Miscommunication. Misunderstandings. Language barriers.
But over the past few months, we've grown and learned how to live together as a family. What was once a temporary respite has turned to a long term placement and the boys will be staying with us for the foreseeable future. I've learned so much about the boys in this short time we've lived together and still know I have much more to learn. I have learned about the foods they like and do not like (I have never met people who can meet as many pickles as they do!). I've learned about what makes them laugh and what makes them cry. I have heard about their instances of horrific trauma and learned their stories of survival.
Most of all, I'm learning how to be a mother to two teenagers. I'm learning patience and persistence. I've learned to admit when I'm wrong. I've felt incredible pride and fear for their future in a world that is not always friendly to refugees. The greatest skill I've learned is to be their advocate and to use my voice to shape their paths.
While the hard moments often feel insurmountable, I know that the boys immense resilience combined with our efforts to have an open heart and willingness to learn will see us through the challenges. I hope to share our lessons learned, our challenges, and our moments of pure happiness with you. Thank you for being a part of this journey.