Covid-19 · Fostering · Parenting

Hope in unexpected places

This week I have been surprised by hope! Let me back up and tell you the story.

Our Foster Son was on the receiving end of some consequences this week. Our decision was to take away all screen time for 5 days. For a teen this is the equivalent of ripping out an eye on the pain scale. We gave him the option of when the 5 days began and he turned in his phone Sunday night at 9:30 after binging for the weekend on screentime.

I was dreading this. It was the first week back at online learning and no one was very happy about the change. Upsetting the routine generally doesn’t go well in our home. Everyone tends to get a bit out of sorts as we all try to figure out the new rhythm. This also meant I was going to work from home more and I wasn’t sure how that would feel.

So we began the week with dread…

Monday, after school was done, the hours loomed ahead til bedtime. His first thought was to go “rest” in his bed with his light off at 4. I didn’t want him sleeping and then not able to go to bed that night, so I made him get up and go outside for a bit. Then our Daughter-in-Law popped in for a visit after taking our Foster Daughter Christmas shopping and the evening became an interactive evening like we haven’t had in ages.

What started with a “guess the song” game as I showed them Bardcore (Thanks Charissa!) Evolved through the evening into a music extravaganza with score being kept on who had the quickest musical knowledge. The kids hung out at the table til bedtime.

Tuesday he pulled out a Tinker Crate that he had started before and gotten discouraged with. He got it figured out and built a ballista. Which of course had to be tested, preferably on a moving target (his sister). The evening turned the entire basement into a battlefield with pencils (knives) as obstacles all over the floor and penalties for being hit. They played. Creatively and with enthusiasm. And no one set it up for them!

Wednesday was an online meet with the youth group they are a part of and some homework.

Thursday the Christmas Lego came out and they spent the entire evening at the table building the Christmas train. She is choosing to hang out with him over watching TV or reading a book. Their laughter is beautiful.

There has been no complaining about the lack of TV, video games or phone time.

These same 2 kids didn’t do anything a year ago. They sat. Stared at nothing and waited for the next instruction. They didn’t know how to entertain themselves. They didn’t play!

The consequence I thought would be a punishment for all of us has turned into a week of seeing how far they have come! Hope!

Hope for a future where they are free to be creative and play and entertain themselves without outside organization.

I wouldn’t have seen this evidence if there hadn’t been a consequence enforced this week.

The gift of hope for these two in the midst of a tough time.

As we navigate Covid-19 and the consequences of a global pandemic may you find unexpected hope for a future that is good!

In the midst of the mess


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