During the first few weeks of foster care, I could see how awkward and uncomfortable my son Stephen was with the kids. I knew there wasn't a lot he could do with a newborn, but Diamonte was 14 months and full of energy and certainly excited to have a big boy like Stephen to play with. Stephen seemed stiff around him though; almost indifferent.
I asked him one day what was going on and he made this confession: "Mom, I'm not a kid person!" In Stephen's mind, he concluded that he wasn't a "kid person" because he didn't know what to do with these kids that suddenly, overnight, became a part of our little, secure family. The playing and teaching and caring didn't come naturally. Well not at first.
In the last 3 months, Stephen has made a huge turn-around. We haven't pressured him or forced him, but have tried to encourage him and give him time to grow. The change came almost overnight. He is on top of all the details. When he hears the baby cry, he runs to put a pacifier in her mouth. He asks me constantly how he can help and he is eager to learn how to do new things in order to be a bigger help. I will mention that I did teach him a very critical skill: making coffee in the morning. Nothing like waking up to a fresh brew, courtesy of your 10 year old son!
He plays with Diamonte, teaches him things, reads to him, helps to dress him and corrects him!
Basically, my "non-kid kid" is actually a "kid person" and he didn't even know it!
I think it has surprised Stephen to see how God has changed him and has helped him to grow in his care and love for these children.
As a mom, I marvel at the lessons we are learning as a family as we've stepped out to do foster care. There are family lessons that I was expecting, but there are all sorts of individual lessons that I wasn't expecting.