By Colleen Fowler

The Foster families of the Meadows of Hope got together yesterday for a “Family” picnic! 16 kids ages 2-17 and 6 adults met to eat and laugh and enjoy being together on such a beautiful, hot afternoon. We met at the new Campus and shared burgers, hot dogs and all the fixins! The sprinklers were on and wading pools full as all the “Littles” ran and splashed…saggy diapers…muddy feet…giggles and laughter filled the air as the grown-ups sat and watched. Two of the “Bigs”as we call the teenagers went fishing for the first time in 5 years and caught several fish, including the one shown below! What joy as they ran to show us their catch and described the battle to “bring it in”! For us Mom’s & Dad’s it was wonderful to have some “grown up talk time” and share our joys and struggles. We talked about our kids of course and how things were going at the houses and about what we were planning in the upcoming months. We definitely made plans for our next family get together in October. We hope to share s’mores and more around the fire pit and play croquet or disc golf! For the first time there was a real feeling of community… a vulnerability to be our real selves, share our fears and frustrations and joys as well. It’s amazing to see how the kids and adults alike were interacting with each other….one of our “Bigs” found himself surrounded by” Littles” as he talked with them about the back-hoe over by the future playground area! We laughed as his shock at his small audiences attention turned into bursts of growling and rumbling as they described the sound of the big machinery. They were so animated in their interaction with him and he was surprised by it also. As the sun began to set , we picked up the left-overs and rounded up kids to start for baths and beds. We embraced not only each other, but the compassion and trust that has been built within the 3 families. We are anticipating the 2 new homes as they are already being started and more additions to our Foster Community and look forward to many more days of playing and enjoying being together. Thank you all for not only your support, but your belief in our kids and the life we desire to provide for them.


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