This morning Emma asked for eggs for breakfast. As I was making the eggs, she said, "I just want normal eggs, not scrambled up eggs."
I was not prepared for what came next.
"______ (the girl we fostered, who shall remain anonymous to protect her identity) loved scrambled up eggs, do remember you'd make those for her?"
We have not talked about the foster kids for a LONG time. And I mean long. I was really surprised she mentioned her. "Yes, I remember", I answered as I kept facing the stove, I didn't want to turn around and look in her eyes. Not sure why. It was just an awkward moment.
Not for Emma. She went on and on - and ON! - about the foster kids. "Remember when the baby did this? Remember when she did this? Remember when we did this together?"
For 15 minutes. I am not exaggerating. Of course by this point, I could no longer face the stove or those eggs would've been COOKED. I made her eggs, my eggs, and we had both eaten - and she was STILL talking about them.
Not sure why it made me so uncomfortable. I mean, it's not like we pretend like they don't exist. We don't forget that they were here. We just don't talk about them. We don't discourage the kids from talking about them - when they feel like talking, we let them talk. I've even brought them up when talking with Joe. Usually I bring them up out of the blue, too. It is all still so raw, so confusing as to what we went through.....
For almost 7 months now, we have all tried to process what was, what is, and what is yet to come. We know they weren't meant to be a part of our family. We know we were called to care for them for a short time. We also know that we never set out with that mindset. When we met those kids exactly 1 year ago, we met them thinking we'd be adopting them. When we brought them to our home for the visits, we did so with the intent to adopt them. We would have never "just" fostered, because we thought it would be too hard on all of us.
Life is full of surprises.
So while cooking those eggs this morning... For some reason, with every ounce of my being I just wanted to pretend like none of it had happened. And she wouldn't stop. I didn't tell her to, of course. But she just wouldn't stop.
And then the zinger. "So mommy, when we take care of different kids next time, I think I will be more responsible. I don't think I was very responsible with her because I wasn't always nice to her."
The next time????!!!!!!
Joe and I have talked extensively over the past few months. We're done. 2 kids is good. Perfect, actually. Just the other day while we were signing up for hockey, I actually said, "I'm glad we only have 2 so we can afford to let them do things like this." We are good financially. Really good. Joe is just a teacher, but we are doing fine. We are comfortable. Our house is perfect for 4. We've got our routine down and the kids have a great relationship. We have discovered contentment with our existing family. We're planning a huge garage sale in the spring to sell all of the stuff our kids have grown out of since we won't be needing it anymore. Not to mention we all fit nicely into a cruise cabin :)
But Emma's statement hit me like a ton of bricks. What if there is supposed to be a next time and we've closed off our minds to that??
Are we meant to foster more kids?
I can't get Russia out of my heart. I can't. Would I love to go back and adopt a toddler there? Maybe. Some days, definitely. There are days when I really am in love with that idea.
But then I look around at my content little life and my content little house and I'm not so sure.
I'm never making eggs ever again.