Months ago I didn't think this day would ever get here, but if finally did! Emily spent her first night with us last night. It went off without a hitch.
One super cool thing about getting connected with the Baptist Home is you get to spend ample amounts of time with a child before they ever stay the night. Emily feels like part of the family already, so her staying just seems natural to us. She knows where everything in the house is, she knows our rules, and she knows that a Toy Poodle can sleep cuddled up next to her at night... which is super awesome if you didn't know.
Having another girl in the house is so strange. I have heard more giggling in the past 24 hours than I have in a long, long time! Madison and her brothers laugh tons... but two girls together? Forget it! The giggles are more high-pitched, and they go on, and on, and on. They had me laughing for no reason at all in the van yesterday. Just hearing them cracking up had me going. Too fun!
We did have a rather awkward moment in Walmart yesterday. (isn't Walmart infamous for that?) We had literally just left the Home and I had to take everyone to buy food... or I'd have 4 very unhappy children for the remainder of the day. Within 5 seconds of walking in, Emily sees her older sister! (who also lives in a group home.) They hug, are obviously overwhelmed with excitement, and her older sister even had tears in her eyes. Emily had been sick the last scheduled visit, so I'm not sure how long ago it was that they saw each other. Thankfully they seemed very happy to have bumped into each other, and no one cried.
That was just a very, very strange experience. Sometimes I still forget WHY she's here. Not just because she's Madison's friend... I have to remind myself that her life is very different than most children's. I don't know her siblings, I don't know her parents. I've heard about them... I've seen her cry over missing them, but it's so bizarre to love a child so much, and know so little about her family. I often wonder if who she is now, under the guidance of her awesome house parents, is the same kid she was before. Who are you, Emily? Really... who's in there?
So far, everything is going very well. It feels like an extended slumber party or something.
God definitely sent the right kid to us at the right time. He always knows what he's doing! She fits in so well. It's nice to have these experiences to ease us into foster care. I know foster care will be an entirely different world than this - so these weeks will be very precious to us. Hopefully, for Emily, too!