Shortly after our first placement of three siblings, dear friends threw us a shower. One note read: “If it takes a village to raise a child, we want to be part of your dense urban community.”
That’s just what we needed. And had in spades:
The kids’ previous foster parents gave us the kids’ favorite recipes. And two weekends away.
Their CASAs spent time with the kids every Monday. And helping us learn the ropes.
Our Colleagues gave backpacks, bikes, baseball mitts. And grace when the school called.
Therapists answered desperate text messages. And naive questions.
Teachers made room in full classes. And exceptions in trying circumstances.
Folks brought meals. And mess-free markers. They played with the kids on Saturdays and swept up after them on Sundays.
Friends invited the kids to the pool in the summer. And to Sunday School in a tantrum. They answered emails from a vacation in Paris. And calls for needed clothing on a Friday night.
Family took the kids to the Science Center. And out to St Charles. One mom came every Wednesday night. The other for weeks at a time.
Neighbors taught them to garden. And to tell Halloween jokes. Some gave us our first night out. Others Cardinals tickets for a kid’s first game.
This doesn’t cover half of the trampoline-buying and scarf-knitting, the dvd-sending and plate-giving. The innumerable ways we were loved.
But there is power in naming. And we need to name that you were there with us. Giving tangibly and intangibly. As the meal passed from your hands to ours. Where caring eyes saw pain. And didn’t look away. Where no quick fixes or easy answers were given for the marathon ahead. But rather a Dixie cup of water and the promise of another in a mile.
Thank you. Thank you.