2.04.2014

By Day Three....I'm in Love. {What Foster Care Looks Like}


We are just getting ready for a friend to come over to visit on Friday evening
to chat. Dinner is in the crock pot. No plans for Friday night.
Actually a pretty empty weekend.
Nice for a change to not be so busy.

The phone rings. 
Caller ID says it is the County. 
I answer forgetting it could be a call for a placement.
It's a county worker. They are working on an emergency removal of a baby 
and wondered if we can take a placement tonight.
She tells me that she knows right now in our life that we are only
looking to help out in short term placements.
(No way am I up for another 4-6 months that turns into 2 years!)
She confirms this should be a very short placement.
Everything is happening fast around them.
Info is changing while we are on the phone.
Girl! No boy. Not sure age.
But need a home tonight and more than likely through the weekend.
Family will probably be located early next week.
I'm kind of promised no more than 2 weeks for this placement.

I check my calendar and say Dave is on a business call right now....
can I check with him and call you back.


I share with Dave...Dave says he just can't do middle of the night feedings.
He needs to sleep to be able to work.
I say...what about on the weekends?!
He agrees he could help out on the weekends if it ends up being
a couple of weeks. I call back with a yes.
We are confirmed boy but not an age. 
Guessing a couple of months.

We quickly bring down boxes from the attic.
Clothes are pulled in 0-3 months.
So are a few bottles, burp clothes and blankets.

We hurry up and eat dinner and just when we are finishing up the doorbell rings.

Oh he is chubby! And has been crying. He is hungry.
I ask if the social worker knows if he was nursing.
She says...No and says a specific formula.
But none of us have that specific formula.
He is brought to us with a bag of size 1 diapers from the county.
Two of his blankets.
Two cans of formula that he doesn't usually take.
And one new bottle.

That's it. Just the clothes on his back pretty much.
No diaper bag. No instructions on what schedule he is on.
We sign some paperwork and the social workers leave
with me holding the chubbiest baby I have ever held
wondering what our next few days will be like.

I kiss his forehead and tell him he is darling.
We go to change his diaper.
Size 1 diapers aren't fitting.
I grab one of Little Mister's Size 3. 
They are big, but will work until we can get diapers tomorrow.

He is rooting like he has been nursed.
He doesn't stop rooting. EVER.
We feed him a 4 ounce bottle.
Then another 2 ounces.
He's is content for awhile and then he starts fussing again around 9:30
and we make him another 4 ounce bottle. He drinks 3 and falls asleep.
FOR THE NIGHT!

I go back up the attic and put away the 0-3 month clothes and pull out the 6 month bin.
Start a load of laundry and crawl into bed for the night
but not before calling my mom to make sure when she comes to 
babysit our two boys tomorrow during lunchtime that she is
OK with babysitting 3 boys now!
She says yes...of course.
Our family is so supportive of this crazy journey.
I also text Kaia to let her know we have a baby in the house again
so she isn't surprised when she comes home!

And when I start the laundry...I don't wash the dirty blankets he comes with.
No...those are sacred the first few days. Those blankets
are his only connection to the scents he knows. 
We hope they will comfort him.
We don't dare wash them.
We use them. We wrap them around him.
They lay in our bed with us while I feed him in the morning.
I try not to think of where that blanket has been
I just pull it closer to him so he can hopefully be comforted by the scent.
Thankfully th├Ęse don't smell like cigarette smoke.

DAY ONE
We wake up Saturday morning at 5:30.
Well I woke up at 3:00 waiting for him to wake up.
Surely he had to be hungry.
Especially if he is just 2 months old...which I'm guessing
but his weight/size is making it hard to guess.

He wakes up and smiles when I talk to him.
Yup definitely between 2-3 months old.
But not older than 3 months.
He's smiling.

He instantly starts rooting again and we make a bottle.
He is a fussy baby. He roots all the time.
I'm guessing he might have had a bottle propped all the time.
The boy is downing the bottles.
We must go get formula and diapers.
And also pacifiers!

The day goes well.
A friend comes to hold him while I get ready for a meeting
and clean up my house in the morning.
My mom watches our boys while we go to a scheduled meeting.
We come home and she says...I had to give him another 2 ounces.
The babe doesn't stop eating.

I feel like he is swimming in formula.
And by Sunday his belly is hard and I say this is enough.
We have to figure him out.

DAY TWO
I get him on a 3 hour 6 ounce schedule. When he fusses and roots
I try the pacifier. I bounce him. I take him outside for a walk.
I figure out that every time he cries and roots doesn't mean he is hungry.
It also just means he is tired. 
But the boy doesn't sleep for longer than 20 minutes most of the day.

He did take a good 3 hour nap on Saturday...but that was it.
Thankfully he is still for the most part sleeping through the night.

On Sunday with all the holding, fussiness and rooting
I'm really hoping this is a short placement like they said.
I'm missing holding my own Little Mister and taking care of him.
I'm missing that quiet weekend we had planned.
Dave has been on kid duty for Blake and Little Mister!
I'm hoping they call with an update on Monday just to give us an idea.
He didn't sleep well Saturday night at all.
The exhaustion is getting to me.

DAY THREE
By Monday morning...he and I have our new routine down.
He slept through the night again thankfully.
He has cheeks that go on for days and I eat them up regularly.
He coos a bit and makes the sweetest sounds while he eats.
We get kids to school. I give him a bath.
He continues to smile at me and I feel it.
My heart swelling.
It's Day 3 and I've fallen in love with the fussiest, 
chubbiest baby I've ever had.

Why does it happen on Day 3? I'm not sure.
I end up enjoying the morning with him.
We walk during his fussy time outside for fresh air.
He falls asleep and we walk back inside and he wakes up!
I get him back to sleep and just hold him.

The phone rings at noon. The county has family for him.
I choke a bit and say OK. I'm happy for him.
We arrange a time to meet and a tear spills down my cheek.

Why am I crying? I knew this was temporary.
I hoped for temporary.

I can't stop the tears from falling.
I give him one more kiss goodbye as I buckle him
into his own carseat. He gives me the biggest smile.
And I cry some more and apologize to the social workers for crying.
I feel silly. It's only been 3 days.
This little guy is carried out my door with a piece of my heart. 
And I will probably never see him again.
And I'm in love. That's why I'm crying.

The thought of no baby in the house does bring a sense of relief.
Some peace returns. I can make dinner and bathe Little Mister.
I can give Blake my full attention during homework.
Life that evening returns back to normal. 
Just as it was Friday at 6:00 pm.

But at the same time, I can't get those cheeks out of my head.
I'm somber. I'm missing him so much.
And I'd take him right back into our house if needed
with no questions asked. 
Dave comes home from work and notices.
I admit to him...I cried.
I told him I wouldn't cry this time.

ON DAY THREE 
that little baby grabbed my heart and broke it all in the same day.

By day five, life will return to normal and so will my feelings for the most
part. I will think of him and smile without crying and hope that
maybe one day I will see him again. I'll whisper a prayer for both him and me
and tell my hubby who has called to check in on me again
that I'm doing better. Pretty much back to normal.

Except for that little piece of my heart that is missing!
I wonder how long my heart can beat...with pieces missing.
And how many more pieces I will give away.


25 comments:

  1. Lovely writing April :) You are doing good work.

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    1. Thank you, Amy! I can't get enough of it and just want to share. Want to become a foster parent? Kidding. Kidding!

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  2. I admire what you and your family are doing and happy that these poor kids have some place warm and happy to spend some time no matter how long it may be you guys are making a wonderful difference :)

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  3. Oh, how I love this. And how I understood every single word. You are great.

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    1. Oh how I love my new found foster care 'friends' via Instagram!

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  4. This is so beautifully written, April. Now, I'm crying. Thank you for taking care of these precious babies. My parents were foster parents for years... they still have ornaments on their Christmas tree from some of their kids.

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    1. I keep kicking myself for not taking side view pictures of the past two babies. I wanted to do silhouettes of each of our babies. But I forgot. I can always make Christmas tree ornaments though with the pictures I have. Great idea! Thank you.

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  5. I love how you pour your heart and soul into everything you do. You are such a wonderful Mom, wife and Foster Mom. Love this post on so many levels, thank you my friend for sharing!

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    1. Thank you Jessica for your long time support and love!

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  6. oh my gosh! what a sweet story, totally crying now.....but so sweet! you guys are so wonderful for doing this. I can't even imagine what these poor little ones go through.....but thank goodness for foster families with broken hearts :)

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    1. That is exactly what I think when I hold these babies...my heart breaks for their situation. It makes it so easy to love them.

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  7. This is beautiful, thank you so much for giving us a peek into the world of a foster parent. You are doing so much good :)

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  8. Thanks for sharing your heart. I've said it before and I'll say it again, you and your family are amazing for what you give to these children whether it be 3 days, 3 months or a lifetime.

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    1. '3 days, 3 months or a lifetime'..... love that thought. They will be a part of us for our lifetime for sure. Thank you.

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  9. I am totally crying. Thank you for taking that sweet baby in!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you April for your comment. It was our pleasure to have that sweet baby in our home!! wink wink.

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  10. that was one of the most beautiful things i've read in a long time. y'all are so awesome.

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  11. Brings back all the feelings when we said goodbye to our foster baby….love this and thanks so much for sharing your heart!! Praying for little chubby that left your home and hoping he is feeling safe and loved...

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  12. Awwww sweet April! I love this post, every little word. You're such a great momma even if it's just temporary.

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I heart comments! Just one rule that I'm sure your momma taught you...if you don't have anything nice to say...please don't say anything at all!

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