I decided to write this blog while my feelings were fresh. I don’t have an outline or even a pattern for what I want to say. As many of you know, I was fostering a 5 month old little one since the beginning of October. This was the second time I fostered a baby and although she was the BEST (oh my goodness the BEST) her little personality was very different from my first. You know how parents have a child and that first child rarely cries, sleeps through the night, adjust to a schedule and has an overall cheery disposition and they make you think that parenting a baby is easy and you could actually do it again?? Well, this one was NOTHING like my first baby, but I loved her just the same. She wouldn’t take to a schedule, she did things how she wanted to… always wanted to be held (which I did of course), you couldn’t sit down and hold her… no… you had to stand up! BUT not JUST stand up, you had to stand up and walk because that is what she wanted. LOL! She disliked all the little toys I had for her to sit in to entertain her, but funny enough when she would go to drop in daycare she would sit and enjoy these same toys (go figure). She punked me often, but I loved her so much.
She was such a beautiful baby! I have never been stopped so much while in the grocery store, etc. for someone to tell me how pretty she was. Her smile was so big and bright, she was such a joy to take care of. Now I can’t lie, I was totally overwhelmed at times because I was tired from waking up 1-2 times a night and then having a baby that wanted me to hold her often during the day. I could only get things done while she napped and I prayed for nap time to last 2-2.5 hours at a time. Those catnaps threw me for a loop. Okay, so side note… I love to drink Starbucks tea (please don’t tell me about the cost okay… it’s my thing and I rarely spend money on other things… lol!), I savor my tea time. I use it to relax and reflect. One time, I put her down for a nap and settled in to drink my tea. Of course I had to clean bottles and do a little housekeeping, but after that I was TEA READY! Well, no sooner did I make my tea and sit down to start drinking… I look over and little miss is staring straight at me! Catnap!! LOL! I was so disappointed, but in true diva fashion I had to go over an pick her up… because once I made eye contact with her, she started making noise like, “lady don’t you see I am awake… umm… come get me!” LOL! Just her little personality. It was so amazing and I wish I could see how she turns out as a child, pre-teen, teen, young adult and woman. She is the BEST!
I knew from the start of fostering this little one that she would not be with me long, when they called me to place her they told me the next day after court that the judge wanted to explore placing her with her grandparents. So I didn’t think she would even last a month with me. I didn’t enroll her in daycare (learned that lesson the first time… plus I didn’t have her medical records anyway) and in the first week, I didn’t fully unpack her clothes. After a while I did relax, but her next court date was November 1st and I figured she would leave me then. The week before her court date, I asked her social worker the possibility of her going home after court. Her social worker said it was likely and that I should bring all of her things with me to court. The court date came and I mentally prepared myself for baby girls departure. I knew I would cry, but I also had a full weekend ahead that would serve as a great distraction and pick me up. So I had things in place to help me get through :-). Well… court was a disaster. The lawyer told me court was at 11:30 am, so I get there 15 minutes early and the lawyer says, “boy are you really early!” Apparently court was at 1:30 pm! Who wants to sit around a courthouse for 3 hours (plus most likely the court schedule would run late) with a baby… not me! So, the lawyer for the baby’s mother asked if I could wait for a few minutes to let the baby visit with her mother and grandmother for 10 minutes and then I could leave. I can WHAT? Yup… I can leave… with the baby. But I thought she was leaving me today??!! Apparently not, and everyone knew that accept for me, mom, and grandma. So, heading back to the car I am still thinking that someone would come pick up baby girl later that night after court. Five o’clock comes and goes and I hear nothing from her social worker or lawyer. At 6:45 her lawyer calls to tell me that the judge said that the baby MAY go home if mom moves out of the house and they need time to make that happen. So, I was in limbo… it’s so hard to gear yourself up for them to leave, but limbo is even harder. I didn’t want this little one the leave, but I wanted to know when just to prepare myself… but that didn’t happen. I was afraid that they would call me a few hours before they were coming to pick baby girl up… to me… that is the worst. In the end, I got to spend the entire weekend with baby girl and her social worker came to pick her up on Tuesday afternoon. I warned the social worker that I would cry and don’t be alarmed. The way the baby looked up at me when I put her in the car… I tried to hold it together. One tear did manage to escape. I told baby how much I love her and to be good. When I closed the door to my home, I lost it. I totally lost it! I told my mother that I didn’t know how much more I could take…. and really at this moment, I still feel this way. The emotional attachment to these children is real. I was just talking to my cousin yesterday and she told me something another foster parent said, “It gets easier… but it never gets easy.” I totally understand that. I think you start to understand more and more what your role in the process is and you understand that the goal (although it may change) is not for the kids to stay with you. It doesn’t mean that the attachment is not there and that you can dis-attach easily, but I think your understanding gets clearer (if that make sense). A good friend of mine came over with cookies and ice cream (real medicine for the soul right) and we watched a (very) stupid movie and laughed our heads off. So grateful for her!!
I know that God will help me to do this again, but right now my heart aches. I sit around and watch videos of baby girl and look through pictures… just to remember and feel her. I loved her so much. She blossomed in the month and 4 days she spent with me! She went from screaming in the bathtub to playing and splashing. She went from crying when I pulled her shirt over her head to cooing and smiling because she knew I was going to sing the “hokey pokey” to her. She would hold my hands to her chest while I would change her diaper or when I would pat her back to sleep at night. She would hold my face when I would kiss her cheeks, she was so sweet! She turned six months old while with me and started to eat solids, started sitting up and becoming more active and alert. It was wonderful to experience and I am grateful. It’s just hard because I know I will probably never see this little one again…. and that hurts like HECK!
So, will I do it again? Of course! I think I will take a small break though. I have had 5 children in my home over the past year and a few months. That is a lot and I have cried when each left me! Except the teenager… not because I didn’t miss her, but the connection wasn’t the same because she didn’t want to form a relationship with me. So, there it is…. my raw feelings on my last placement. I am still very sad… very. My current distraction is being with my family right now and enjoying seeing them and spending time with them.
I am grateful for each experience because it shows me how much God gives me strength and comfort and how much He allows me to extend His love to these children as well.
This was a long one! Thanks for reading :-)!