My last blog post addressed our top three foster care questions, so if you haven’t checked that out yet, do! The fourth most common question has definitely been, “So what do you need?”
Aside from prayer, which is our most desired help (no, really), there are some things we do still need. I’ve been shopping sales and thrift stores for months purchasing toothbrushes, toys, books, home safety stuff, etc., but there’s a lot of stuff involved in housing an unknown number, age, and gender of children, turns out. I was telling my friend Lillian about the fact that it’s getting quite expensive to prepare. Though we’re going to have a brand new little member of our household soon, we don’t get to register for gifts, when realistically we need just as much (or more) than brand new parents who are birthing their babies. So she said, in the most Lillian way, “Who says you can’t make a registry?” She then made a very clear case that I needed to get over asking people for presents and just go ahead and make one. She gave me excellent advice about the items that we need, what would be really helpful, and when to tell me I wasn’t thinking straight (no, 2 year olds don’t need swaddle blankets… even if they’re very beautiful swaddle blankets). We soon were walking the aisles of Target with a scanner in our hands. She’s a professional great friend, I tell ya.
We’re thankful for any sort of donation; hand-me-downs are more than welcome (for those of you who want to give and have a garage full of old kids’ stuff). Gift cards are great for those of you looking for the quick and easy option. And if you feel like buying fun new put-the-kids-at-ease presents, first aid kits, lice shampoo, crib sheets, fire extinguishers, etc. for our future foster-kids, I’ve created registries on amazon.com and at Target. (linked below)
We’re not looking for extravagance – we’re looking for necessities and things that will make life better for these kids. We’re trying to cover our bases for the unknown without going overboard on things we don’t need. Some specifics will need to be purchased for our home study before it’s completed (fire extinguisher, medicine safe, safety closures, and the like). And some specifics for gender and size will need to be purchased or borrowed from friends after we know who specifically will be living here, obviously. Thankfully, there is a monthly stipend through fostering that will help with things like diapers, formula, medicine, whatever. We’ve been given the brutal advice that most kids who come from homes of neglect bring little else than the clothes they are wearing. They won’t come with diaper bags or pajamas. We’ll be expected to provide basically everything – toothbrushes, clothes, etc. They often come sick and with diaper rash or lice; they’ll likely be behind in school, and will have a great deal of trauma in their short history. Though we can’t fix trauma, we can fix no-pajamas. So we’re doing what we can to have a very small lot of things handy for any-and-all placements, and having your help would be… well… very helpful.
It makes me uncomfortable to say, “hey, now that you’ve done all this awesome encouraging – want to buy some presents for us too?” But it takes a village. And you’re my village. Dave and I would be such fools if we didn’t feel immense gratitude for all you’ve done so far. Thank you for all of your support in this. I’ve said it before, and I will say it a million more times before this adventure is over, but THANK YOU! We haven’t talked to a single person who has tried to talk us out of taking in kids or suggested that we can’t handle it. That’s a big deal to twenty-somethings who are still trying to figure out life and who sometimes make stupid, immature decisions. We know some really wise people, and we are so thankful for your advice and wisdom. I seriously have a notepad full of good advice, encouragement, and love from you people. Hearts full. Full full full. Very full.