I have a whole new respect for people who foster. This week has been a rollercoaster. People have surprised me…in a good way (this time).
Last Friday night, I had a phone call from a friend. She asked if we would be interested in fostering an 18 month old baby. Dennis and I have often spoken of fostering but had not yet started the process. And it is a tedious process. We have close friend who are going through it right now. Since Dennis wasn’t home, I told our friend I would have to talk to him. We had to let them know by Saturday. In my mind, the possibility of it all really happening was slim. (Who would give us a baby? Don’t they know that the kid friendly person in this dynamic duo is the one who works all the time and has something going on almost every night?) My prayer was simple, “God, You alone know if we should do this. If it is not Your will, then please close the door.” So we said we would be willing to take him. We were told someone would call us. On Sunday a CPS (Child Protective Services) case worker called us. She told us she would either come out that evening or on Monday morning. I asked, “To take a look at our place?” Her response, “Yes, and to bring the baby.” Now my brain is going crazy. “WHAT??? WE MAY HAVE A BABY TONIGHT? We aren’t prepared. We have nothing. What are we going to do???”
On Monday, they brought Nicholas to us. I think the case worker thought I was going to back out. I was overwelmed….he was a little disaster. Keeping in mind, he had been placed in a shelter and been separated from his mom for a week and she came with the case worker. Also, they woke him up to bring him inside and we have no idea when the last time he had eaten was. He was a little stressed.
It all happened so fast.
Our friends, family, church and even acquaintances have stepped up to the plate to help us. When Kathy heard the news, she put a pack-in-play (playpen) in the car and dropped it off to my parent’s house. And she even brought two sheets! Place for baby to sleep…check. I had a few clothes packed away thanks to my sister, Jenny. And Tabitha packed up play clothes, shoes, wipes and toys. Something to wear….check. Tabitha sent us to the Williams house. Lora provided a handy bath seat and an offering. Baby will be clean and fed…check. Had lunch with Judy today she blessed us with some DVDs. Entertainment for baby…check. Ran into Judy’s friend Stephanie who has two little boys and she gave us a bin full of toys. More entertainment for baby…check. Shelby sent diapers. Rachael sent diapers, wipes and pajamas (thank goodness…turns out he is a snotty boy and I have been having to was his jammies almost every day) so he will be clean and dry at least for a few weeks…check. Everyone has been so supportive. It could be I am a little stressed or hormonal or whatever, but I cried a little after leaving the House of Krauss and Williams.
I guess fostering doesn’t usually happen like this. It must happen like this occasionally. Most parenting situations happen after nine months of knowledge of the impending expectation. Usually someone (like my mom) stays with the new mom to help her out…even the new dad takes a few weeks off work. When the piece of art arrives, people stop with meals and tiny clothes. This is…well, this is just so different.
How do mom’s ever get anything done? Does your voice hurt after saying, “No”, “Come here, come here, come HERE” and “Stop right there”? There really is such a thing as “dish water hands”. Cook, cleanup, cook cleanup, cook cleanup…the never ending cycle. Where is my stinking husband? I am overwhelmed and he is playing his guitar in his happy place. I am not at all sure he has felt the significance of this change in his life the way I have. He has no idea that I am rethinking the whole idea of having children. Is 6:30 p.m. too early to put a 20 month old to bed? Can you teach a 20 month old to sleep 14 hours in a row? Or change his own diaper? I NEED MY MOM!! I am kind of glad my mom hasn’t come over, I have no doubt my floor would be deemed unfit.
Dr. Lehman says that new moms should relax and just enjoy it. (his First-time Mom book). Did I mention that our apartment is “handicap accessible”? That means all the door knobs are low levers. This kid already realizes he can reach the handle and turn it. If I relax someone may be calling CPS on us.
I better go to bed….it appears that this all starts again tomorrow. Now I really need a vacation and we spent our vacation fund.