One of my favorite parts of our routine is the little song that we sing every night. It's "You Are My Sunshine", but with a few changes. We sing "You are my sunshine, my _______ sunshine", and fill in the blank with the names of each child in our home that night. Visiting, foster, or permanent, every child is a bit of sunshine in our life while they are with us. And even when it's just Big Brother A, we never sing "only sunshine", because we believe that ultimately the highest source of joy and light in our lives is Jesus- the one who gives us everything, including our children.
This song is a great source of joy for me. It's a prayer of thanksgiving every night. It can also bring a little heartache the night after one of our foster babes leaves. Each time we've had a goodbye, Josh and I have exchanged that "uh oh what now" look right before getting to the names in the song. Do we only sing Big Brother A? What must it be like for him to immediately cut out the child who was "Baby Brother" hours ago? And yet, can we really keep adding verses into the song for each kid indefinitely? After all, the ultimate goal of the bedtime routine is a sleeping toddler!
So now, we sing just the kids in the room during the song. But at the end, we have an ever-growing list of thanks:
"Jesus, thank you for my sunshine today. Jesus, thank you for my A today. Jesus, thank you for my Baby Z and Baby M today. Jesus, thank you for my family today."
I'm not sure if this is sustainable. I can picture us taking 10 minutes to get through the song by the time we've had a lot of kids in and out of our home. But I love it. It helps us to remember to pray for our foster babes each day. It helps big brother A to process and believe that we still love them, and that our promise to them remains "We will be your family for as long as you need us".
It's just a little thing, but I'm glad our daily routine can keep these boys in our hearts daily. And I'm glad Big Brother A cares enough to keep challenging Josh and I to reconsider where we draw the boundaries of our family.