Saturday, July 21, 2012
We have been on vacation for 11 days now, I think this is a record for us. My husband and 2 oldest boys went home after our time at the beach and me and the 6 younger kids have been at my mom's house for the past 6 days. It has been great but I am ready to be back in the comfort of my own home. Having a large family is pretty routine to me but I can tell it has been a little overwhelming to those around us who aren't used to it. I have to say that my kids are really well behaved though, they have gotten along for the most part, I just think the constant noise can be too much for some people. My mom was having a get together today at her house with some friends from church so I took my kids out for the day just to give her time to clean and prepare, and breathe! We saw the new Ice Age movie, well my kids did, I was out walking the lobby with a very noisy Turtle! I did get to see the end and stayed to watch the credits as the theme song played and I couldn't help but think how perfect that song is for us foster families. Yes we may look different and may not be your ordinary family but that's what makes us stronger. I love it, my new favorite song. When I came back to my mom's house her friends were all leaving, I overheard my older (step) brother explaining to someone that I was his step sister. When I heard him say that I have to admit it kind of stung a little. His mom, my step mom raised me, she has been a part of my life for the past 30 years. I have always called her mom, my youngest step sister has just always been my sister and I refer to my step brother as my brother. We aren't extremely close but I probably have more of a relationship with him than his 3 biological sisters do. I know he didn't mean any harm in it at all, I was just somewhat surprised to hear myself labeled that way, for me it sort of creates somewhat of a separation. That got me thinking about how we refer to Turtle. I never introduce him as my foster son, I just say this is Turtle and if asked I will say we are fostering. I have caught myself recently stopping myself from saying to my other kids, "your brother" when referring to Turtle. Like, "don't wake up your brother!" I don't know if I should refer to him as their brother or not. I know they all feel that bond with him, my 6 year old is always saying that it's just like Turtle is part of our family. I want to protect them from the heart break they will feel when he leaves but I know I can't, and calling him their brother won't make that any harder or easier. Maybe I am protecting myself, as if it will hurt any less when he leaves our home whether I call him my son or not. Having Turtle on vacation with us has strengthened our bond even more, I could see it as I watched my husband carry him proudly through a restaurant. I felt it as I held him close and experienced new places together. No one in the world loves this little boy as much as I do. Not his mother who chose a different life, not his father who sits behind bars, not his grandmother who has never seen him. Me, mama, mommy. My husband and I will have to have a very serious talk when I get home.