We stand in the bedroom together, side by side, clothes and toys piled up around us and empty boxes tossed into the hallway.
“So, tell me,” I say. “What do you want to keep on the walls, and what should come down?”
The colorful train decal on the wall of this bedroom looks babyish now compared to the basketball posters this 9-year-old boy brought with him today. So does the framed alphabet print and the stack of board books. The stuffed animals. Even the white bookshelf and small, matching dresser I picked out back when my husband and I were first licensed as foster parents two years ago. Back when the age of children we were willing and able to accept was capped at 5 years old.
It was the perfect room for our former foster son, a boy who came to us at 3 years old and lived here for nearly a year. Now, a year after that little boy left, another boy is standing next to me, surveying the room he’s been sleeping in every weekend for the past month. The room he dragged thousands of Legos into the week before. The room he’s now moving into, we hope, to stay.
Read the rest of this post here, published in the New York Times’ Well Family section.