Following the festivities, we manage to steal the secret plans to the Empire’s ultimate weapon, the DEATH STAR… Oh wait, wrong story.
Having recieved a phone call about a baby girl needing a home, Little Bear and his parents race home aboard their Delta flight, custodians of the knowledge that Little Bear could have a baby foster sister by the end of the week, and restore freedom to the galaxy…
What I Should Have Written About Last Week
Last week, I wrote a “memoir” (as one friend put it) about a major life event from twenty years ago – my house burned down. I hope no one had any health problems (heart attacks, strokes, etc.) before they realized it was twenty years ago. The positive feedback about the post and the cathartic feeling I got from writing in general has inspired me to keep blogging and to try and post regularly. Based on my recent history, this will probably last for a few weeks.
So this week, I am going to write about what I should have written about last week – OUR NEW PLACEMENT! (The crowd roars)
Boy… Boy… Goose! Er… Boy
As a reminder, when you become a foster parent, they ask your preferences. Although this can sometimes feel like someone might be trying to weed out kids they don’t want to foster, in truth it saves a lot of time for those making the placements by not wasting time on families who don’t think they would be a good fit. It also help prevent bad placements, which aren’t any good for anyone, especially the child. I think we all want to feel that we would be welcoming to any child in any situation, but as a foster parent, you aren’t doing anyone a favor if there are certain things that you know just won’t work but pretending that they don’t bother you.
Early on, we said he had a slight preference for a girl, but would take a boy. I think I once stated having a 51% preference to girl and a 49% preference to a boy. It may have been closer to 60%/40% (look at me being all hypocritical about being honest about it), but if you have been following along with the past 2+ years, the percentage of the outcome so far has been 0% girl and 100% boy. That changed in November.
Our first three placements were boys, with the last one ending up as an adoption, which is where the real work begins. In fact, when they called us about Little Bear, they said there was a girl needing a placement as well and due to series of seeming coincidental timing issues, by the time we called back, they only had Little Bear. Best coincidental timing issues ever!
Anyway, by this point it isn’t much of a surprise, but when we started taking placements again (actually a little before we were taking placements, more on that later) a baby girl was placed with us!
Accepting Placements… Or Not
We had been planning for most of the year to start taking placements again after Thanksgiving. This allowed us to wrap up some travel plans to see family out of state without jumping through the hoops that comes along with taking a foster child out of state. Plus, traveling with an infant is less than optimal anyway (not that we haven’t done it). Also, we thought that by that point in time, Little Bear would be old enough that it would be a little easier to handle two kids. (We may have been wrong there, but are managing anyway).
We had mentioned this to our caseworker. So when the call came in before we were home from Thanksgiving, we were a bit surprised. Due to the nature of these things, I can’t reveal to much, so just believe me when I say it was a perfect fit and we were very glad that everything worked out the way it did.
We discussed changing travel plans to get back sooner, but the little girl needed to be in the NICU for a little bit anyway. So where we usually start taking placements and then spend a few nervous days or weeks waiting, we spent those nervous days with family and trying to prepare ourselves mentally and emotionally to have an infant in our home again.
Little Bear, Big Brother
We were a little nervous how our Little Bear would respond to having a baby in the house. He met his younger cousin (who, despite being 8 months younger was just as big) at Thanksgiving and did really well. But we knew this would be different. Unlike his cousin, we would be holding the new baby more and she would live with us and always be around.
So how has he done?
Pretty well actually.
Except for him occasionally trying to sit on our laps while we feed her (which isn’t so bad since we have a pretty big comfy chair) he has loved and adored her.
There have been some other unanticipated reactions as well. For example, when she gets her diaper changed now, he wants his diaper changed – even if it doesn’t need to be. When we burp her, he wants to help burp her too. (I’ve told him that this is the only time he ever gets to hit his sister).
When he wakes up in the morning, he wants to go see her. Out of nowhere he started to tickle her feet. She doesn’t really respond yet, but he giggles when he does it. When he laughs, she smiles.
But What if She Goes?
Just kidding. But not kidding.
So there is always the possibility with almost any foster placement (safe haven babies are the exception I can think of right now, and even then there is a minute chance) of the child being reunited with their birth family. Although we are supportive of this, of course we would love to get to adopt them and it is painful when they go back (as I attested in a previous post – and the Baron is doing great by the way. We get pictures every now and then are working on setting up a play date with Little Bear).
But it is different now. Where before it was just our loss, it is now Little Bear’s loss too. You could rationalize that away to some degree by thinking that he is so young, he wouldn’t remember. At some point that won’t be the case though.
And I don’t know the answer. A lot of these things we have to figure out as we go. We can prepare ourselves by mentally saying it could happen. There’s no way we are going to withhold love from these children to maybe spare our own feelings if they go back. Little Bear is forever a part of this family now, so we will need to do our best to prepare as best we can.
How We Are Doing
We are pretty tired, but it is getting better. Little girl sleeps through the night most nights. The holidays and the extra demands they place on us are over. We had a nice Christmas at home, just our little family. The video camera got baby girl projectile vomiting in front of the Christmas tree. We could be a 1950’s TV family.
And things are going well in our efforts to blow up the Death Star.