Here was the order:
Little Mama, Simon, Mr. Mohawk, Gabby, Smiley, Jelly Bean, Maria, Me, and Hubby. All nine of us at the movie theater. It might have taken two cars and three booster seats to get us there but we went. And even though all six kids were seated next to each other, no issues.
I missed the initial meeting but I guess all the kids were excited to meet each other. It was another of our "either this is brilliant or this a spectacularly stupid" ideas. Brilliant was the consensus.
After the movie we went to lunch. Split an egg nog milkshake between us girls and then headed back to hang out at our house.
If you had told me last year that in 364 days I would have driven 40 minutes to pick up the gang, happily paid for a movie and lunch and then invited everyone back to hang out at the house and eventually end up watching the Blackhawks game with us nine plus my parents, I would have told you, you were out of your Ever. Lovin. Mind.
I was blissfully happy today. Everyone was smiling. Laughing. Giggling. Playing nicely. Maria felt so comfortable she actually fell asleep on our couch. (Everyone falls asleep on it. It is the black hole of couches.)
After dropping the Fab Four off I came in to check on Simon and Smiley. Simon was still awake. He was laying there smiling. He told me the reason he was smiling was today was a really fun day.
Yes it was. This is the part where foster care doesn't suck. Moments and days like today when kids get to have fun. Where parenting is a joy. When the system really puts back together a family and they become successful. When the adults decide to let the kids be the focus and something great becomes of it.
I'm sure to the people who came across us today we looked like an odd group. We got a few stares when we walked in with six kids. Go ahead and stare. This is what true love looks like.