When The New Kid came to us, I was the only one home. My husband was at work and the big kids were at school. The case worker and I chatted a bit, then she left, and it was just him and me. I gave him a tour of the house. I showed him where the bathrooms are. We checked out the toy box together and a Lightening McQueen computer caught his eye. He asked who it belonged to. I told him that it is Caleb’s but that many kids have played with it over the years. He opened the red laptop, turned it on, and said, “Hi, I’m the new kid.” Since we cannot identify our bonus kiddos by their name on social media, I’ll be referring to our latest addition as The New Kid from now on. Seems fitting.
The New Kid is almost 4. Just about the same age as our Caleb when we first met him. They have striking similarities. It sometimes feels like deja vu. The New Kid is often quiet, seemingly in his own world. He is, in fact, taking it ALL in. I remember Caleb acting the same way. You’d talk to him and think he wasn’t listening but when you’d question, he knew exactly what was going on.
In an effort to gain some insight as to what might be going on inside The New Kid’s mind, I recently asked Caleb what he remembers from when he first came to live with us. He said, “I remember thinking, ‘Who are these people? That is not my mom and that is not my dad.’ And I was afraid.” His words made me lose my breath and my eyes got misty. We meet these kids when their lives are absolutely upside down. Intellectually, I know that it must be scary to be uprooted and basically dumped into a new family, but to hear those words from my own precious son’s mouth made me almost sick. It was a painful reminder. One that I needed. I think this foster journey is hard on me???? Reality check!
Caleb and The New Kid have much in common. They love Lightening McQueen and Transformers. They fib about brushing their teeth. They love to build things and to play outside. They’ve both experienced their lives being flipped upside down and inside out. They’ve both felt confused and afraid. And they’ve both been loved and prayed for more than they could comprehend or imagine by people who were virtual strangers. Strangers who became family.
Welcome to the family, New Kid.