Anyway, Kobe and I went in and I sat down on the far bench (that gets sprayed a little) and Kobe started playing. Then this lady comes in with 4 kids. One 13 year old mixed child, One 10 year old white chubby child, and 2 little chubby white kids. I looked at them and something (well, not something, God) told me these were foster kids. The lady, who is a mid 30's over weight blonde with only 5 lower teeth comes and sits next to me on the bench and the kids go off to play. I am watching them trying to figure out if they were her kids or not. The littlest one (the only girl) looked so much like her I thought that one had to be hers so maybe only the oldest two were either hers or foster kids.
I wanted to ask her SOOOO bad if they were adopted or foster kids or what the deal was but I just thought it would be rude. We started chit chatting and I noticed that all of them had wrist bands on and asked about them. She said they were here with a group for some type of activity.
I am still trying to think of questions to ask that will tell me if these kids are hers or not. After quite a bit of chit chat I noticed on her shirt were pictures of the 2 youngest ones when they were little. I asked "Who is on your shirt?" She answered, "Those two" pointing to the youngest two with her. "They are foster kids". "Oh, are you their foster Mom?" I asked. "To which she relies, "No, they are my kids. They were in foster care for the past 16 months (all the kids) and I just got them back." In side I am a little shocked. God had told me they were foster kids, I just didn't realize that I was looking at Foster kids that had been reunited with their Mom.
So, I went on to tell her I have been taking classes to become a foster parent as well. Then she tells me that the group they are with are all the foster families and staff of the agency that has been helping her and her kids. Only God would have me come to the Water Pad right while this was going on.
So I asked, "Is there any advice you could give me, like how I could help parents of kids that I am fostering?" She didn't really say much on her end but she gestured to her 13 year old son and said "He could tell you better than I could." So, I asked him. Here is how he answered me.
"Treat all the kids in your house equally. Don't make them sleep in an attic and don't only buy them one outfit of their own."
He went on to describe to me the room he stayed in while he was in foster care, how the foster parents favored certain children and also told me how bad he tried to be so he could get out of there.
Then he went to play. His Mom then told me "They took them away for the stupidest reason. The electric got turned off. And because of that the kept them for 16 months."
"I had to find a house and stuff and even after that I had to wait 3 more months to get them back."
Here I am staring into my future...in my head thinking "I still don't know if you should have them back." Looking at the kids and seeing that, especially the older two, are glad to be back with Mom.
Then she told me that the foster parents that took care of the younger two were great people that still come and visit the kids and she likes them.
After I left the park I was still amazed at what an important meeting I had today that taught me so much. It made me see things from the Bio Parent's side. Not that I think I understand it, or that I think she has her act together, but it was just eye opening to SEE it. HEAR it. STARE at it.
You never know what you will be getting into when you start any journey through unknown territory...but you can see that you are on the right path when you look for God in it.