Foster Care Ch. 4 Prep: Looking Forward, Looking Back

As I spent the month of October preparing for our fourth child, I thought a lot about our first three. I’ve had this idea for a while but finally did it: an 8×10 photo, an initial and a shadow box of significant items for each child. It’s the start of our hallway gallery wall that might one day be full of difference faces and memories.


I also make a necklace in honor of my motherhood to these three sweethearts.

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I made a CD of my “songs for the foster mama’s heart.”


I got our next kid’s room ready, including setting up the pack n play in case we get a baby. (And if we do, I’ll probably end up buying a second crib because Ali is still using hers.)


Lots of time was spent reading and praying, usually right in this spot on the couch in the morning before anyone else is up.


I spent half of a Saturday cooking several gallons of soup and stocking it in the freezer.


Sometimes I feel like the house is ready and other times I feel like I need a day to clean and organize. I know it’s ready enough and we have everything childproofed to DCS standards but I guess it’s just a nesting thing.


Then I rearranged the next kid’s room a little bit. This bed seems to only work in this one spot in this room and it kind of drives me nuts. I’m thinking I’ll eventually move it into Ali’s room and get some regular bunk beds that can be switched into twin beds for maximum flexibility.

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Then more time has been spent resting, waiting, preparing, breathing deep in the now. A cup of tea on a sunny afternoon is balm to my soul.



11 Responses to Foster Care Ch. 4 Prep: Looking Forward, Looking Back

  1. Elizabeth A. says:

    Can you share what songs you put on the CD? And I love the wall collection, especially the shadow boxes.

  2. Elaine says:

    I’ve been following you since you had a room, but no children. I love your open heart and honest telling of the ups and downs of motherhood. I also love that you don’t try to “do it all” — best to you and your family in this next phase!

  3. M says:

    Love the wall of children with shadow boxes, pictures and initials! What a creative, beautiful idea! I have followed your blog for awhile. My hubby and I have been waiting to adopt for 2.5 years and are now in the process of preparing to foster.

    • mahlbrandt says:

      Thank you! I’ve had over two years to decide what to do with the handprint I got from our first placement, which spurred this idea. Blessing on your fostering and adoption adventures! Keep me posted.

      • M says:

        Will do! I am glad to see your idea before we start so we can find our own way to remember each of the children that come into our home.

  4. Wehaf says:

    I know that you used to hide Ladybug’s and Buzz’s faces in photos, for privacy purposes. I was wondering if there was some particular reason you had stopped doing that.

    Photo-obscuring aside, I think the gallery wall you are starting is wonderful.

    • mahlbrandt says:

      I’m still not sharing full clear photos of their faces (I figured these were so small they would be hard to recognize) but in general it’s because of the amount of time that has passed and that they’re no longer in state custody. If someone were trying to find them, seeing their faces here wouldn’t give any leads since they’re not at my house.

      • Wehaf says:

        I see; that makes sense. I’ll probably go back to lurking now, but want to mention that I do enjoy your blog.

  5. joanna says:

    Have you read Maralee’s blog yet? I think you two are soul sisters and don’t even know it.

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