Last week, we took our two foster sons out of town to visit family. Our family. Nieces, nephews, sisters, brothers, parents. All of us connected by blood, or covenants of marriage or adoption. All of us with years of history together.
But these two.
They were newbees. Trying to navigate a whole new place and dozens of different faces.
There was little choice but to jump in among a slew of close-knit cousins. And they did. Swimmingly.
Each saddling up to new friends with ipads or to kindred spirits on the basketball court.
There were highs and lows of course. Fabulous ebullient giggles as the boys rode on a quad for the first time. Big angry tears as competitions were lost.
But I couldn’t have been more proud. They found their way. We all did.
As the trip came to an end and we deplaned, Little D threw a hand up in the air and shouted “SAINT LOUIS!” Then his other hand “SAINT LOUIS!” Back and forth with every step, he cheered all the way to the luggage carousel. And we didn’t have the heart to shhh him.
After getting our bags and finally pulling our car into the garage, he said more quietly, “It’s good to be home.”
His older brother quickly jumped in to object, “This isn’t home. This is only temporary.”
We had no words then. And still I struggle to do more than nod. We are grateful Little D feels comfortable enough to call it home and Big D feels safe enough to say it isn’t.
And we ache that they have to question where home is.