My little darling is 8 weeks old today! It has been a pretty great adventure so far. I have learned so much about caring for a newborn baby. Some days things seem to flow really well… and other days just when I think that I have a solid grip on how things are flowing, this little one reminds me that I do not have this parenting thing on “lock.” For only being 8 weeks old, this little one sure is feisty! She makes it known what she does NOT like. It has been nice living in our little bubble absorbing each other since COVID-19 is keeping us quarantined in the house.
This post is delving a bit into my personal feelings regarding this little one. I know that most people could not be a foster parent because of the attachment and loss of control you have once a child enters your home. I have already told myself and some others that I will probably never take a newborn baby straight from the hospital into my home again. Not because I am not enjoying this experience immensely, it’s because of the emotional toll this placement is putting me in during some moments. This baby feels like she is mine (I know she is not). The only thing I didn’t do for her is carry her for her 8.5 months in utero and give birth to her. Since she has gotten out of the hospital, I have been her person. Even though she gives me nothing (I mean nothing… no emotion! LOL!), I can tell that she really feels safe when she is with me. I cherish that. So the looming fact that one day she will have to leave me… it hurts really badly. I do not like thinking about it at all and I do not think I could go through this again. Her case is a bit complicated and because of the virus going around and the semi closure of the court system, most foster care cases have been stalled. So I don’t even have a general idea of how long she will be with me. If I listen to her lawyer and her social worker, it may be a while… but as I have seen all to often in foster care, things change in a blink.
So, how am I doing? Today I am doing OKAY. Besides being a little tired from waking up 2-3 times during the night for feeding/changing, I am also a little emotionally tired. With everything going on in the world and the constant news of how many cases of the virus in my state (this morning I heard 15,000+), wondering how in the world I am going to get things that I need in the house (friends and family have been amazing at calling me to ask if I need anything, and Amazon delivery for the win!), just missing going out with out having to worry about wearing my mask and gloves, and just missing my friends! When I have kids a few of my friends come and sit with me to talk and hold/play with babies… and I enjoy the visits. I am a home body and believe you me I am not mad having to be at home for the most part… I think it is the fact that I can’t get what I need sometimes because I am dependent on others (to either bring it to me or come sit with the baby while I run and get something). **Side note, I know folks will think about my last statement and only one family member comes and sits with the baby when I run out. I have to make the decision whether I entertain taking the baby out at all or having someone come and sit… and I chose the latter.** One day I was walking up the stairs in my home and I laughed and thought, “I am suffering from postpartum depression without the “partum. ” I laughed because I thought that it was impossible for me to suffer from this condition since I did not give birth. I kept feeling a little down, so I googled it :-). Came to find out that adoptive/foster parents of infants can suffer from postpartum due to other factors, sleep deprivation, anxiety of bonding, doing a good job or for me, not knowing what is happening. The anxiety is real! This week, I have gotten 3 calls from social services. Every time a worker announces they are a DSS worker when I answer the phone, my heart starts to beat fast. What are they going to tell me? Time for baby to go? You never know. We also may suffer because of the feeling of isolation and general loneliness. I was not far off. I am grateful to my friends/family who have stopped by and spoken to me through my screen door, thought of me and left things on my porch, or just called/text to talk. That helps! I would also like to thank two social media friends who saw my need for various items and magically later the same day or the next morning, clothes, toys, furniture, diapers, appeared on my porch! Thank you so much… I really appreciate YOU!
Back to the little one. She is thriving and I am grateful! She went from this little bitty (I call her bit bits) baby to this rolly polly little lady with such a feisty personality. It’s amazing to watch, but I won’t bore you with everything she is doing… because I’m sure a lot of you are parents and know how fast babies develop :-). Like I mentioned above, she is attached to me for sure. Her little eyes follow me around the room (when she lets me put her down) and she cries for me to hold her when someone else is holding her. It is all very interesting. DSS has also called me for 2 sibling placements that I had to turn down. A one and three year old pair and a two and three year old pair. It breaks my heart to turn them down, but I know I can’t handle 3 young children by myself (hats off to any of you who can!).
That’s all I have today. My heart is full each day that I get to care for this little one. Even through the frustration sometimes due to her crying and fussiness (due to underlying trauma) and sleep deprivation I would still choose to do this. My heart is also sad, because I know that one day she will leave, but I try not to focus on that. I know my role, I provide safety for them until their parents can resume their position. Knowing the role doesn’t make it any easier for my heart… any heart… but as foster parents we push through our own feelings to give the love a child needs at that moment and we pray that loved feeling will carry them for a lifetime.
Thanks for reading!