Friday, March 2, 2012

It Takes a Village

There's an old proverb that says that "it takes a whole village to raise a child."  As it has been just over a week since we've had two foster children placed into our home, we have felt this proverb very keenly in our lives, and are filled with such gratitude that it is difficult to express.

The natural order of things is to have one child introduced into a home as a baby, and for the family to adapt to that introduction slowly and steadily.  In our case, as our family suddenly expanded from 3 to 5 children, we now do have a baby in the house, and we also have a toddler.  However, the baby is the least of our concerns.  Aside from the fact that she was born premature and has to be treated very lightly and fed extremely regularly, we do consider ourselves experienced parents and aren't intimidated by the demands of her care and maintenance.

The toddler, on the other hand, represents a larger challenge.  We do not know any of the minutiae of his rearing, so we don't know anything about his likes or dislikes.  His culinary tastes are a mystery, his darkest fears even more so.  We don't understand what makes him angry or why he gets sad.  We don't know what he is trying to say or why he tries to say it.  Truly he is a puzzle we are trying to put together, and we can't even see the pieces.

Yet through it all, we have received nothing but kindness from the people around us.  People from our ward, other friends, and our neighbors have been extraordinarily generous.  We have had lent to us or given to us clothing, furniture, toys, and other paraphernalia to help get us started.  So many have brought wonderful meals to us to ease us through this transition.

We feel so very, very grateful for all of this charity.  We're not used to being on the receiving end of this kind of service, and are astounded by how kind and loving people have been to us.  We could manage all this change to our family all by ourselves -- we have the know-how and the resources to do so -- but we are humbled to realize that so many great friends have surrounded and uplifted us so that we don't have to.

The agency with which we're working has all sorts of support groups available for people who are doing what we're doing, but we feel today that we don't need all that ... we already have our support group!  All these great people who have been here every day to wish us well and to encourage us when we're down really are more than just a group of friends -- they are our village and, indeed, our family.

Thank you, all!

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