My front yard had transformed into a medieval kingdom for my princess and the two damsels from the kingdom next door.  My son finally finished his homework and went bounding into the yard exclaiming, “I’m the kinkajou!  I live in the tree!”  My daughter reacted just as I did in my childhood when my brother insisted on being Jack the bulldog instead of Pa when playing Little House on the Prairie.  She stopped the game to insist, “No, you can’t be a kinkajou!  You have to be a prince or a knight or a dragon!”  (FYI:  a kinkajou is a relative of the raccoon that lives in the rain forest. Definitely not a princess’s companion.)

The two gracious neighbor girls convinced my daughter to allow the kinkajou in the game and added the younger brother as a jaguar.  I was amazed at how the addition of the “wild animals” expanded their creative world.  The game evolved from a princess dreamland into an exciting adventure with all five children charging into unknown territory with challenging obstacles, exotic animals, and enemies to be defeated.

That same morning I was contemplating how adding a foster child (or children) would change our home.  If we had a baby placed in our home I would have to baby-proof, lug diaper bags, and wrestle with car seats again.  An older child would come with another set of challenges.  But watching my children adapt their game to include a “kinkajou” and transform into a new adventure opened my eyes to the excitement of a new phase of life awaiting my family through foster care.  I needed my children to think outside of the box to remind me that change can be exciting!  Our home is now opened for foster care and we are anticipating a new adventure.