Why? Why this weekend?
Seven years ago, the Child Welfare Department called me and asked me to foster two little boys. The youngest was 19 months old, and the oldest was five.
This was to be the beginning of a new family. A family that would share the good and the bad, the happy and sad -and we grew into a family of eleven, that turned into thirty-four. Pretty miraculous!
What I’ve learned through all of this time: Family is about so much more than blood.
This isn’t the first time we took in children. When my son was still in high school, he had a friend who was living in a household where things were not happy. He lived with us for several months, before moving on. He has now adopted two beautiful daughters -that I love dearly! They live far away, so I have not gotten to meet them yet, but it does not diminish my love and pride, for each of them.
We took in 13 children, all together, before moving into a home where we could, no longer foster. Now, I am a CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocate, for foster children). Since beginning, three years ago, I have helped/helping eight families. I have four cases right now.
The oldest girl we shared time with, we almost adopted. She decided to age out of the system, and our parting was painful. However, I always knew she would be back. She, along with her husband, and my two youngest grandchildren, 2 and one month -will be here Christmas Eve.
So, back to my boys! We didn’t just get them. They have a mother and a father, a sister and a step-father, that is now, also a part of our family. Every month our boys come to see us. Occasionally, the older sister comes over. She only lived with us for four days -but we love her just the same.
So, usually the weekend before Christmas, the boys come over. We pretend it’s Christmas weekend. Saturday night, they will open their annual present -filled with a new pair of pajamas, and then go to bed.
During the night, Bob and I will eat cookies and milk. Sunday morning, we will all awake, and they will open their gifts. The youngest boy, always wants more than what he will get, but his eyes shine brightly.
I am so blessed!
I don’t understand why some prefer to hide their heads, eyes, and mind from the needs in our world -the children. When one of my boys wraps his arms around me, and says, “I love you, Nonny!” I know my life has been worth the trials and tribulations I’ve experienced.
How could I possibly be any more lucky?
To all my babies, I think…….Nonny loves you, too! (I know!)
Thank you for being my family -Merry Christmas!