And then five days later they were gone.

Two dear girls came into our life and home on Friday and then walked back out the front door on Tuesday.

We had heard they would stay a month, at minimum, but received a call just before they arrived that plans had changed and they’d stay only four days. Respite instead of a placement.

Foster care is ever-complicated. There is an excitement and hope around a new placement, but also a sadness knowing a child needs a home. And so this news too brought mixed emotions for us all. Both gratitude for the possibility of fewer moves for the girls and curiosity over such sudden shifts in their case.

The girls knew they had been scheduled to move in. After all, the framed names on their bedroom walls would be awkward for only a few day visit. But they also knew that now they weren’t.

Or weren’t for now. But might still later.

Yes. No. Maybe. Who knows?

Oddly enough they weren’t that phased by the whiplash. They have already moved more than any child should.

And so we all simply enjoyed the weekend together. Getting to know each other a bit. Testing waters. Even trying to figure out nicknames.

They took with them a few shirts and coats kindly donated by our friends. Some new colorful pens and journals. And the ability to key out a pretty decent Jingle Bells on the piano.

They left things too. Some of their gifts tucked away in corners and beautiful artwork proudly displayed in their rooms.

It’s hard to know if it was left with a desire to come back to it. Or from simple teenage forgetfulness.

Time may tell. Or we might never know.

Regardless, we’re rooting for these sweet sisters to get home. Soon and forever.