I came up with the title for this post in kind of a hurry and when I read it upon review, I realized it might be interpreted different than my intention. So just to clarify, for those of you who thought I was considering eating a baby for Thanksgiving, rest assured, the thought never crossed my mind.
What I mean by No Baby for Thanksgiving is this: Our first foster placement ended just before Thanksgiving.
Don’t be too sad. We had baby for Veterans Day, after all*.
If that doesn’t make you feel less sad for us, I’ll let you know that we went on an impromptu Caribbean cruise the week after Thanksgiving.
Now this blog is about our adoption/foster adventures, so I won’t bore you with the details of our Caribbean vacation that was probably actually an impulsive way of dealing with the sense of loss we were feeling. We definitely need to find a better coping mechanism – it’s not like we can take a cruise every time a placement ends.
Despite not having a baby on Thanksgiving, we had a lot to be thankful for. We got to be parents for almost three weeks. Even though that little baby will probably never remember us, we will never forget it.
So after the cruise, we came home and tried to normalize. Put up the Christmas tree. Go back to work. Get full nights of sleep. Try not to hear baby’s adorable cry when it really isn’t there.
Traditional Adoption Update
So previously I hinted that one of the birth mothers that contact us dropped the bombshell that she actually had three kids and wanted us to adopt all three.
It was probably one of the most difficult decisions we have ever made, but based on how communication with the birth mother had been, how things were going with foster placements, general gut feelings, etc. we told the birth mother that we wouldn’t be able to adopt her children.
I think one of the big things we learned by having baby here, even for that short time, is that we like fostering. We like helping. It is hard when they have to go, but it is well worth the sacrifice and pain.
Before baby was placed with us, we had been averaging one call per week. Granted, that was two calls in two weeks. We hoped this would continue when we got back from vacation so that our time between placements was minimal. That was actually a big factor in deciding to take the vacation. If we don’t do it between placements, we may not have a chance for a while.
We were right. In fact, while we were gone (even though we told our case worker we would be out of town) we got a voicemail about a placement. By the time we got the voicemail, the children had been placed. Somewhere in the back of my head there is a still a pang of guilt yelling “What if those were supposed to be your kids!?” but we have to live out lives.
And besides. We got another call.
And that baby is with us now. <Mic drop>
*An addendum on Veterans Day
Part of this joke is that compared to other holidays, Veterans Day kind of gets the short end of the stick. Unless you work for a bank and certain government agencies, you probably don’t get this day off. Not getting the day tends to make it feel like I less important or second-class holiday.
Just before the cruise, I got a new cell phone. It had been almost four years since I had upgraded and there were some excellent sales going on, so it seemed like a good time to upgrade. With my new phone, I got a week trial to Amazon Kindle Unlimited and due to that, I ended up reading a lot of Kurt Vonnegut during down time on the cruise. I don’t recall which book it was in (Probably Breakfast of Champions, but I am not sure), but he has bit where he explains his distaste for Veterans Day – not because he is opposed to veterans or anything like that. In fact, he served in the Army during World War II and was at the Battle of the Bulge. He was captured and held as a prisoner of war. And it wasn’t because it was a holiday that also happened to occupy his birthday.
From what I am remember he, well… okay, I’ll go look it up. I am probably not doing this quote justice anyway. It just struck me and I wanted to share it since Veterans Day.
“I will come to a time in my backwards trip when November eleventh, accidentally my birthday, was a sacred day called Armistice Day. When I was a boy, and when Dwayne Hoover was a boy, all the people of all the nations which had fought in the First World War were silent during the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of Armistice Day, which was the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
It was during that minute in nineteen hundred and eighteen, that millions upon millions of human beings stopped butchering one another. I have talked to old men who were on battlefields during that minute. They have told me in one way or another that the sudden silence was the Voice of God. So we still have among us some men who can remember when God spoke clearly to mankind.
Armistice Day has become Veterans’ Day. Armistice Day was sacred. Veterans’ Day is not.
So I will throw Veterans’ Day over my shoulder. Armistice Day I will keep. I don’t want to throw away any sacred things. ” — Breakfast of Champions