Our first hosting was not exactly what we had imagined.
We thought we would have one child at a time, but when I saw the Facebook post about two little girls needing to be hosted I was immediately excited about the opportunity to have our first kiddos. They were adorable and settled in quickly. I had bottles, formula, snacks, books, puzzles – everything little girls could need.
Within a few hours the older girl was acting out. It started with yelling. Then nothing was “fun”. She pulled my hair, was jealous of any attention we gave our older kids, and threw all the freshly folded laundry off the bed and then just looked at me. I wondered what we had signed up for. Was this normal?
Other times she was fine. She loved doing crafts with me, looking at books with her sister, and making popsicles in the freezer. Honestly, though, every day was a challenge. Should we just act like we’re babysitting them and let her fall asleep with a movie every night or should we be more like parents and set more boundaries? Was it our fault that she was acting this way?
One day I came back from the store and the older girl saw me putting groceries in the pantry. Her eyes got really big as she watched me push bags and boxes of food onto the shelves of our small – but now very full – pantry. She said, “WHY did you go to the store when you have so much food?!” I explained that we did already have food but we were out of some things we usually have in the house. She still couldn’t fathom that we now had ALL this food. As I stood there looking at her and our stocked pantry, I realized she’d never had that much food at her house. She didn’t know what it was like to have a choice for what to have for dinner or to have several days of food all at one time. It was a touching moment for me and a reminder of why we host.
That hosting was hard. There’s no sugar coating it. The girls stayed with us several times over the next two months. We got used to having them here and we have lots of pictures and memories of the good moments, but it didn’t really get any easier. BUT…we survived, we learned, and we are better for it.