Everything is still a little bit up in the air and probably won't be finalized until the weekend, but if I wait until Monday to tell you what is going on, it will be not as helpful to ask for the items I will need to borrow. That's all very cryptic and mysterious isn't it?
I have blogged about Safe Families before. Our good friends, the H-S family have been hosting two little ones for the past month. For various reasons, they will be unable to continue to care for them starting next week, so everyone has been working on figuring out what is best for the children and their mother. Well, between Safe Families, the H-S family, Su Casa (the shelter the mother is living in... from my brief contact with them a truly phenomenal place), and the mother, it looks as though we are the best choice. And the way that works (because you all know our family size is a huge issue for many people) is that it is also looking as though the mother will be moving in, possibly in stages, as well. So, for a little while it seems we will be filling every seat in our van.
Obviously, there is a whole lot about this that I cannot share. It is not my story and I want to be VERY careful about others privacy. But it all looks pretty God arranged. We have the room and the time, we have already had some contact with the children so we are not strangers, and we have unique experience in dealing with various mental health concerns. Plus, we have hosted a mother and her child during the summer time already, though under quite different circumstances. Other than say yes, we haven't done anything... even fight the large family ruling... but it has happened. It seems. Nothing has been signed yet and we still have another meeting or so. It's a good thing I gave up on trying to plan things a long time ago.
I'm sharing all of this with you for several reasons. First, as you remember, I gave away every single baby thing I had. And it hurt to do it and now I'm really regretting it on top of everything else. I am going to need to borrow some things. So, my local friends, do any of you have a baby swing I can borrow for a while? One of the children is 3 months old (1 month old adjusted age) and the other just turned 3 years old. (G. and L. think he is soooo cute, because he is so much littler than they are. In their own little world.) I have a crib-sized mattress for the little boy, but having a toddler bed to put it on would be great. And crib sheets would also be welcome. It would be a loan only, so I could return them when we are done. Please call me at home if you have any of these items. Thank you!
My next reason is to urge you, really, really urge you to become a Safe Family. They are located in more states then Illinois. If you go to the website there is an interactive map that you can use to see if Safe Families operates in your state. The need is great. And some of the placements are very short term. Some are as short as a couple of days to watch a child while the child's mother is in the hospital having a baby and has no one to care for her older child. Surely just about everyone could do that couldn't they? It takes a little while to become approved and have the necessary clearances done, so if you start now then you can be helping that much sooner. There is also a huge need for families who are willing to take more than one child. There are many sibling groups that come through and they are nearly always separated because there are so few families willing to take more than one child. It adds to the children's distress to be separated from their siblings. What can you do to help? This is a wonderful way to actively play a part in family preservation.
And my last reason is just to give everyone a heads up that life could get a little crazy around here for a while. I have no idea how much time I will have for posting or, if you know me personally, how many functioning brain cells I will have. Memory is not a strong suit around here on good days, and I'm pretty sure a baby will not help the situation. I know I can type one-handed and nurse a baby (I've done it), but there is no way to type while bottle-feeding a baby. I just have no idea what to expect.
So thank you all for your prayers. And while I cannot share the mother's story, God knows what she needs, so please add her to your prayer list.
Now to get ready to celebrate three birthdays tonight. Never dull, I tell you.