Wow! It’s been 3 months since I posted a blog entry. To say I have been busy, that would be an understatement! So much has happened since the last time I wrote. I will basically gloss over all that has happened because it is too much to write out. Little brother left my care right before Memorial Day. He went to go live with his father. Even though the goal of foster care is reunification, it still stings when a child leaves. No matter the length of time a child is with me, I am always sad to see them go. I got about a month with just me and my busy bee getting our lives back to being just us two. We went on a great staycation in Baltimore where busy bee experienced the Children’s Museum, Aquarium and the sights and sounds of the city. We also visited Dutch Wonderland in PA and my little one had such a great time and rides were just her size! She’s kind of tall for her age, so she was able to ride some of the more “daring” rides. She handled them like a champ… I was a nervous wreck!
Soon after we returned from our staycation, I received a call for a seven day old baby girl. Funny story! The worker called me and instead of leaving a voice message she sent me a text. She text “hey, this is Ms.____ from PGDSS. Would you be able to take a 7 day baby girl?” I read, “hey, this is MS. ____ from PGDSS. Would you be able to take a baby girl for 7 days?” LOL! See the difference? I answered the text and said yes, but when she called and we started talking I quickly realized my error. She explained that they couldn’t find anyone to take her and she kept thanking me… so at that point… I continued to agree to take her. I full out panicked about 30 minutes after saying yes. Full OUT PANIC!! I called my working crying so hard, I felt so overwhelmed because I was just getting back to “normal” and my busy bee had started to get into her own routine and finally started sleeping in her own room!! I knew that accepting this baby would ruin all the progress I made in that department (boy did it!). My worker told me to give it two weeks and then reassess. Well, it’s been a month and I guess we are all doing okay. My busy bee is doing MUCH BETTER adjusting to this baby than her baby brother. I don’t know if it’s because she is older now or because this baby is a girl that she has taken more of a liking to her…. who knows! It’s good that she sort of kind of likes her :-). Even though she still will push her off my lap or sneak in a hit or two when she thinks I’m not looking. LOL!
This placement with baby girl has been very different… in a good way. Baby girls mom has been very upfront with her issues and has already begun to work on them. She has made every visit with her little one and has even come to all doctor appointments. It has been actually very helpful for my emotional wellbeing. What do I mean? Well, foster care is a whole mess of emotions. Of course I am becoming attached to the little bean, but knowing that her mom is working so hard for her (from day one), taking full responsibility for her part in this, and working with me and not against me has made me see my role in this process as a caregiver. I know that this baby will probably be returned to her mother much faster and seeing her mother try so hard makes me really proud of her and allows me to root for her getting her daughter back.
This journey has been such an emotional rollercoaster for me. Some days I feel so great, I feel so happy to have invested in providing care. Some days I feel like this is the best decision I have made in my entire life and I am mad that I didn’t start sooner. BUT some days, I am a mess… crying over the unknown. Crying over the lives of the children that I have been entrusted to keep safe. Wondering how adults could mistreat their own child or not even think to ask about them… or see them. Sometimes the weight of their story, although not mine to carry, bears heavily on me and I can’t breathe. I think because both of my girls have court next month, I have been having more messy days than happy days. In this situation, there is absolutely NOTHING I can do physically to change the narrative. The only and best thing I can do is pray for God’s best for these girls and to live each day minute by minute. Not thinking too far ahead to the “what if’s.” I’m also very overwhelmed, I’ve heard that biological parents feel overwhelmed at times too… which makes me feel better :). AND sometimes I feel like I totally suck… which I also heard bio’s feel that way too… lol! So that helps as well. I put out a Facebook post asking if anyone could recommend a “mothers helper” and I got a response from a friend recommending her niece. It’s been two weeks so far and it has been great! The first night she came, I ended up having to take busy bee to urgent care. I was so scared, but thankfully it resolved itself the next morning. It was so strange busy bee couldn’t bear weight on her right leg suddenly. We did a follow-up with an orthopedic at children’s hospital so we are keeping an eye on it. All in all, I’m glad my mother’s helper returned after that madhouse her first day! I also qualified for paternal leave and that has been a blessing. I never realized how sleep deprived I was/am! I haven’t had a decent night sleep for 17 months! I guess that is being a parent.
I was joking with a friend on Sunday and told her I was due to write a blog, but I’m always scared to write because when I do… something always happens. Something already happened earlier this week, so fingers crossed that is it! Just coasting through the rest of the summer with these two precious girls.