Hello readers! Happy new year! It’s been a while since I stopped by to write a blog, but there hadn’t been much to write about over the last few months. Over the holidays, I got to spend a lot of time with my family and really regroup my thoughts and mind after a lot of painful personal things happened in my life. I can’t say that I am not still sad at times, but I am getting stronger each day :-). I enjoyed being able to spend time lazing in the house and not doing much, most of the time willing myself to leave the house and promising myself if someone asked me to go to dinner or lunch or just hang out in general… I will do my best to go. It has been a time! I know that is not what you came here to read, so… LOL!
Last weekend I had a beautiful experience fostering twin 4 month old boys. It was my first time fostering boys and especially my first time fostering twins. Let me write this up front, I have a new found admiration for parents of multiples and an little extra respect for single parents of multiples! Caring for two babies at one time is no joke and not an easy task to say the least!! So my hats of to anyone reading that has had to care for multiples… whew! This all began after at a foster training I took through the department on Thursday night. One of the other attendees was in my P.R.I.D.E. class (this is the class you take to begin the process of becoming a licensed foster parent) and we were catching up on life in general. I knew she and her husband had a infant/toddler in her home and asked if they still had that placement. She told me she did and showed me pictures and then said, “we also received a one month old baby girl last week!” Now, after she said that… I admit, I really wasn’t paying attention to a lot of what she said. I was thinking, “the department called me last week to place a teenager and told me they didn’t have any younger placements at the time.” Let me back up right here. Since my last placement left me in November, the department has called me about 4 times regarding placing a teenage youth (16+) in my home. In December I declined because I knew I was traveling and I didn’t want to be bound by the school calendar. I also declined because lets face it… I fostered a teenager and I did not like it. Not that I didn’t like her, I just didn’t like living with another “adult” who felt like they didn’t have to listen to me and dismiss me. It is just not my cup of tea, but I also know that more often than not… these are the placements that are in need most often. Back to my fellow foster parent. I jumped back into listening mode and she was telling me that the department probably placed the baby with her because her job is so flexible (so is mine) and she is home more often then having to go into the office (ahem, so am I) so that is why they probably placed the infant with her. Well, I was happy for her… but it bothered me that I had only gotten calls for teenagers and not once have I been contacted for anyone under 10 years old. Another foster parent I know who prefers to foster preteen/teenage boys told me he was getting calls for 6/7 year old girls. The process of getting a call is so random and funny to me. They go down a list for the first person to say “yes.” So you get calls for any age group.
That night as I drove home, I thought about the infant placed in care and wondered about why I didn’t get that call. I called my mom (of course) and was telling her about it and she told me to call my social worker and ask. I told her I didn’t want to call, because I know if I called… I would definitely get a call for a placement. LOL! I had been in training all week for work, but the next day as the trainer was talking, I kept thinking about the infant placement. I just couldn’t get it out of my head. So I text my mom (of course) and ask AGAIN if I should reach out to my social worker… because it was bothering me so much. Anyway, I did. As the phone rang, I told myself that if my social worker didn’t answer, I wouldn’t leave a message (they rarely answer the phone), but I at least had to try. Well, don’t you know it my social worker answered the phone on the 3rd ring. I discussed how I felt with her and she told me that she didn’t even know an infant came into care last week. She reassured me that my name was on the list and my preferred age, 0-6. So we hung up, and about 45 minutes later… I got a call…
My social worker called me chucking, “Hey Ms. C I have an infant placement… twin boys… 5… hold on… (papers shuffling in the background)” at this point I’m thinking she is going to say 5 years old… “okay, hello? 5 month old twin boys.” I started to panic. LOL! A lot of thoughts went through my head. TWINS! Holy Moly! How could I say yes to twins, but how can I say no when I just asked about caring for an infant??! So I say yes, and immediately start freaking out…. immediately. I also reassure myself that they may find a family placement for them to go to and they may not even come to me. So, I settle back into class. The class ends at 3 pm and I still hadn’t heard from the CPS worker. So I figure nothing much is happening. The CPS worker calls me at about 3:25 pm as I am still trying to make it home. So, I detour and drive to the department to pick up the boys. OMG! In the waiting room I actually see two of the little one’s that I provided respite care for. I don’t know who they are with, so I am hesitant to say anything in case they are with their bio family. I sit and wait for the worker to come out with the babies. This process is always so strange to me, getting a placement is like signing for a package… it’s just strange. Well, they call me to the back and I meet the babies. Two pairs of little eyes looking up at me. My feelings got really overwhelmed very quickly.
I won’t bore you with everything, just the highlights. Getting them into/out of the car was crazy. The car seats they had did not have clip in bases, so each time I had to strap them in by using the seat belt. I tried to put them on a semi schedule so that I was feeding them about 20 minutes apart and they were waking up about 20 minutes apart. Sometimes that was a success! But true to baby form, sometimes it was not. LOL! Whenever they woke up or were hungry at the same time was always stressful. I learned how to prop them up and feed them, but burping them was very hard. The first day/night was a blur. On the second day I needed to change one and put the other in the rocker. I tried to give him a toy to entertain him while I changed his brother and noticed that he didn’t know how to hold the toy. That is when I looked at the paperwork and read that these boys were only 3 months old (they turned 4 months in my care)! LOL! I knew they looked small, but I just thought it was because they were twins. That was funny to me. Anyway, the juggle of trying to entertain, comfort, change, feed went on and on. Sometimes I didn’t know when one day ended and another began. It was just a constant cycle. I know she will kill me for writing this, but my dear mother came and slept over one night to help me care for the twins for the night feedings. Well, needless to say… she didn’t wake up and I ended up still doing the night feeding alone. LOL! This night was tricky too, because it was one of the nights they woke up at the same time to eat! Oh my! One of the boys cried to eat (even though I knew he shouldn’t be hungry) and barfed all over the bed after I fed him. So we all went down to sleep in the living room, LOL! The next morning my mom came downstairs and asked what she could do. I handed her a baby and said, “Feed him” and turned over on the couch at took a catnap! LOL! I was so tired, but I wouldn’t trade caring for them for the world.
My mom and I gave the boys nicknames because although we knew their birth names, the department couldn’t tell us which baby went with which name. I named one baby scar/talker LOL! He had a scratch on his face which gave him a mark like Scar in The Lion King (this baby was so sweet and not evil at all… okay) and he talked/babbled all the time. He always had a story to tell! My mom named the other baby “The Protector” because he was always looking for his brother and would not go to sleep until his brother was asleep and taken care of. This baby always had his brow furrowed and always looked stressed out. He was a stomach sleeper! If I put him down on his back, he would immediately wake up. SO, I slept him laying on my stomach. Needless to say, he was very attached to me in a very short time. Actually, they both were which was so surprising.
I would like to take time here to thank some special people who came over to help me and/or hold a baby. My mother, of course, came over each day to hold a baby while I ran around trying to either cook, make a bottle or bathe a baby. My running buddy/friend Kimberly who came over several days while I had them in care and even went with me when I took the babies to the doctor. I couldn’t fathom carrying two babies anywhere (furthermore I wasn’t equipped to). My friend Renita stopped by to give me something and stayed to hold a baby :-). Another foster mom who has twin boys as well stopped by to bring me another bouncy seat and formula and stayed to hold a baby as well. Rasheda, who also has a heart for kids in care, came by and held a baby and even brought me a frozen pizza. I really appreciated the food because eating and cooking was a luxury that I didn’t get to do often. At one point I looked over and she was folding laundry. LOL! Thank you! My BFF Cindy who surprised me and brought my God kids and STARBUCKS! Kaje who graciously took the twins for an hour of drop-in care at her daycare when they unexpectedly stayed and I had a work meeting. Thank you all so much! I really appreciate you ALL!
I knew these boys wouldn’t be with me long, their grandmother told the CPS worker that she was willing to take them. Court was on Tuesday and I expected them to go home that day, but true to DSS fashion I did not get a call after court until about 7:30 pm that night telling me that the boys will leave the next day. It is always sad for me when placements leave. I have written about it here so I won’t go through it again. I did cry and graciously the CPS worker expressed her gratitude for me and my love for the boys. When she disclosed what happened in court, we both shed a tear. I told her that if the boys needed me in the future, I am here for them. If you are a praying person, please pray for these boys and their parents. Especially their parents. I am told they are very young and do NOT like each other at all. It is very tumultuous and verbally violent between them… so please pray for them to get along and also that no harm comes to the babies. That is all I can say.
So, I am proud that I said yes to this difficult assignment. I can also say that boy babies melt my heart a little differently then girls. LOL! This was placement 6 & 7. Although I don’t see them as numbers, it is amazing to me that I have not been licensed for 2 years yet and I have had 7 placements in my home. My social worker text me this morning and said I am back on the list as having a vacancy. So let the waiting begin!