Two Babies

So here we are, readjusting to life with two babies. We’re going through a pretty fantastic amount of diapers and bottles this week. Wow to the 10th power. Oh, I’m also still homeschooling the girls on their respective home days and we’re struggling a bit to get done the things we need to get done. Okay, we’re struggling a lot.

Today was our first attempt at following the full Tuesday fall schedule complete with home day for Katie and Millie, piano lessons for them, and choir for all. We were also surprised at 6:20 this morning with the storm shelter people came early and woke up the entire family, babies included. We’re happy to have a storm shelter, but they did tell us they would be here between 7-8am, so it was a literal rude awakening. So we had that going for us today along with an unexpected trip downtown because I’d forgotten to secure the permit and had to do that TODAY on top of everything else.

And I’m looking ahead to the rest of this week and wondering if we’re going to make it. I know we will, but in what state will we be by the end?

Baby at the Bowling Alley

Baby Bowler
We almost made today an at-home jammie day, but in the end, opted to sneak out for just a bit. We hadn’t been bowling with our Kids Bowl Free passes in a while and thought today would be a good day to go again. So we packed up ourselves and our baby and headed to the bowling alley. We followed that up with a matinee showing of Despicable Me 2, which was the second time half of us have seen it. We really liked it. Twice. Baby A liked it too in an, “Okay, my foster mama held me for two straight hours” kind of way.

Baby Love

Baby LoveAs I look around my house I see how quickly we have become what we once were, what with the piles of diapers, wipes, bottles (new territory), tiny socks, and so much equipment – baby stuff in almost every room of the house.

And all for little guys like the one above, whom I would keep in a heartbeat if we could, but whom I also know is not mine to keep. And so we love while we can.

And who can resist?

Diaper Party

Okay, it’s not absolutely official yet and there are still some other scenarios that could bump to the front and cause Baby A to move on, but we’ve officially requested a transfer from being emergency care parents to being long-term care parents. A variety of reasons led me to ask for this, but the short answer is that we felt like we made a good connection with Baby A’s birth family and believe it to be in his best interest to stay with us for his duration in foster care. There is still a chance he could move into a “kinship” home and if that happens, our status as emergency care might not change yet, but we’re hoping he will be able to stay with us for a little bit longer. Okay, a lot longer.

The day I started the process of making these arrangements a sweet friend of mine told me she was planning a girls’ swimming party soon and wanted to have everyone who came bring a package of diapers for us. It was a sweet gift and we were happy to receive it. We remain thankful for the continued support of our church and school families and friends as we continue to follow this calling that is foster care.

2

It’s a boy! Again!

Baby Boy
You know that bit about being on a foster care break? This is what we do on a foster care break: take in another newborn. It’s what we do.

Seriously, I keep thinking I was prepared to say no to any other kind of request – our family really did/does need a break from anyone who can talk back and drop the f bomb on us for a while, but this? I just can’t say no to this.

And he’s a little Mary Poppins baby: practically perfect in every way. And he’s going to break my heart again here in a few weeks.

Once again, it’s what we do.

Bye-Bye, Babies

Babies, #FosterCareI thought this day could come soon and so I was right. Last night while I was up with A5w between, cough, 2am and 4:30am *yikes!* I got an email from his case worker letting me know they wanted to place them this morning. We emailed back and forth a bit as I told her I was in Owasso and couldn’t get them to her until about 1pm, but we made that arrangement and I proceeded to try to get that baby to go back to sleep. It was a LONG night.

I so seriously wish I’d gotten a picture of Katie with A23m because she really bonded with that little sweetie in a way she hasn’t with any of the other kids who have come through our home this year. Though they’ve only been with us since Monday, their leaving today was particularly difficult for Katie.

And the transition was a little concerning to me. At some point I keep hoping to encounter someone working in child welfare who places people over policy and views these little human souls as more than just a stack of paperwork, but I’m having more and more trouble finding that hope. After waiting for 20 minutes or so, someone came for them – not the family member who was taking them, not the case worker who met them on Monday, but an assistant they’d never seen before. She informed me she was there to wait with the kids and that I could go. I was surprised, but I handed her the baby and hugged the 23mo and we started to leave. The 23mo threw herself down on the floor in a puddle of tears. It was something new to us that we hadn’t seen before this week and there was no way on the planet I was walking out of there like that. She had no idea who this new person was and all she knew was that the family she’d started attaching to this week was just leaving her here with another new stranger. I picked her up and said we’d just wait until the family member showed up too. We waited another 20-25 minutes and I just held this little sweet one with her head on my shoulder, stroking her back and assuring her I’d stay longer.

Eventually the family member showed up. I expected her to just jump into this person’s arms in excitement. She didn’t do that. She didn’t cry, but she wasn’t super excited to see this person either and that was concerning to me too, but what do you do? I handed her over to her family member and told this person we’d loved having these kids this week and gave a little run down of what happened while they were with us. We kissed her one more time and walked away.

Katie and I got in the elevator and Katie burst into tears. This was a hard one for her. As it should be. Darn it.

We rode the elevator to the wrong floor and when we got off I was struck by a long line of people waiting for drug testing. I teared up then. There was just something about the hopeless long wait for someone to test you for something you’ve probably done in the past and could possibly still be doing and need to stop doing if you have any hope of seeing your kids again and that just tore at my heart.

We’re being confronted with a side of humanity we’ve sheltered ourselves from for so long that it literally takes our breath away when it parades right before us. And I wonder if we really should be so surprised. There is more of this going on than we even know.

And the hopelessness of that just breaks my heart.

Babies Again

Y’all, I know. We’re supposed to be on a “break.” A4 and R3 have only been gone 10 days and we communicated we needed a month before taking another placement and we’re going out of town in two weeks and my own case worker through Angels is on vacation so I thought we were “safe.”

And then I started getting calls from the director of our agency. She called our home phone. She texted. She called my cell phone. I knew something was up.

Emergencies. They just keep happening. Two babies, a 23 month old girl and her 5 week old brother. They were taken tonight and needed a home and could we possibly?

And it doesn’t make sense and we are extremely exhausted and yet…they need a home and we have one. And I said, “When should I be there?”

So now we’re back to babies again. I’m really really REALLY thinking this is going to be super short. They apparently have a good family network and someone should be cleared to take them in soon. So in the meantime, we will love these little sweeties while we have them and pray for their soon-to-be home to be a good place for them to be.