If you didn't see this, we purposely planned a little family reunion on our first spring break weekend.
All our longterm children came back and stayed a night or two. They all played together, ate together, and made a mess together.
Twelve in all.
Everyone was here except Mattie, and Baby M was represented by her brother and sister, who we now have almost every Sunday to give Grandma respite and to provide them with a church home.
These are some of the things said over the course of our weekend, in no particular format. Watch your heart on a few...
Sometimes this a little nuts for me, and it gets really, really loud, but Mommy, I really love our life. I love our crazy family. I love that there aren't may people like us, and I love that I get to know all different kinds of people and families, not just people like me. I wouldn't want to grow up in any other family. ~ Caleb (9), when we had a early morning talk
We have 10 kids at the dinner table, Daddy! Can we keep adding a few more forever? ~ Benjamin (7)
Our family is just too crazy, Mommy. It's so loud! ~ Daniel (5)
Repeat after me. We are not an orphanage. ~ Jamie, as he packed 14 lunches for a picnic at the park
No, we are not, but we are a safe place today for a few kiddos who have more haunting shadows than we will ever be able to dream of. And just for today, they will forget those, and just be kids. ~ Me in response. He smiled.
I'm okay. Things are okay. Do you still love me? ~ Big Sis (10)
So, you mean after we go back to our Momma, you'll still love us and let us come see everybody, and you won't forget us ever? ~ Buster B (9)
Bye, bye, Mama. ~ Little J (18 months)
I love you. I'm so happy. ~ Little Sis (4) as she ran back into the church lobby and jumped in my arms completely on her own
Are you rich people? My Grandma says the only way you can love us like you do is if you are super rich. ~ M's Sis (7) - I told her that no we are not, but we have a rich God, who has loved us so much, so that we can love and share with others.
Just for today, can I pretend you're my momma? I've always wanted a momma. Or maybe every Sunday? I've always wanted a daddy too. A daddy that is always there. ~ M's Brother (8), as he laid his head on my shoulder and went to sleep during church
The only thing I've ever wanted in my whole life is a daddy that lived with me. I'm the luckiest girl in the world! ~ Peppermint Patty (7) as she made Jamie a card
I missed you, Sister. ~ Cinderella (3) to Little Sis when they whispered at night
Why do you do this? You don't have to keep loving us. I just can't figure you guys out. ~ Birthfamily represented
Honestly, when things first started panning out, we thought about telling everyone it would be too much. The losses and griefs represented in our home that weekend were so great. Foster children lose everything when they come into care. And as I learned with our recent girls, they lose almost everything again even when reunification happens.
When they come into care, they are deathly afraid they have been forgotten by their family. And when they go home, they are terrified they have been forgotten again, this time by us.
This is a small, simple way for all the children and all the parents to come together and see that we are still a family. We are not normal. Our fingers are far-reaching. We are broken, messy and loud. But for two days, we can be us as a whole. So beautiful, so worth it. So redeeming.
Because we have a Redeeming God,