December 6

I know, I said I’d keep this up so you could follow along. And then I just left it hanging. The thing is, when you have a newborn and a 3 year old it’s hard to write. And then we got thrown a few curve-ball, as it goes with Foster Care. I’ll get to what’s happened and what I’ve learned about the whole process and system, eventually. But let’s go back to December 6 – the day we prepped for a newborn baby to join our family in less than 4 hours.

Even though we were open for placement at end of June, we didn’t get a placement until December. We had been told that once it happened, it would probably happen fast, and fast is really an understatement. This really took such a long time because our age range was smaller and we were Foster-to-Adopt, instead of straight Foster.

At first, every time my phone rang I would jump. Eventually, we just went on life as normal. But on December 6th, I was coming out a meeting at work and got a call from Depelchin. I ducked into a room and took it – there was a newborn baby girl who was being discharged that day and needed somewhere to go.

The way it works is that we were given a few minutes to “discuss” it and then call back with whether or not we were interested*. Of course we were – we had been waiting for months! From there, our file got submitted to the court and we waited to see if we would be chosen.

So while I waited I just went back to work. I luckily work with a great group of women, so we were all just talking about how exciting it was and going through what I might need. Since we were open from 0-2 I had general things like a crib but no formula, bottles, clothes, etc.

At just before 3PM I got a phone call that we had been chosen – could we be at the hospital around 5:30 to pick the baby up? The answer was of course and then everything was a whirlwind. Gabe went to pick up O from daycare, and I went home. We sent out the batsignal and my Mother In Law was on her way to our house, and my sister would head to Target to pick up some things for the baby before coming over.

Once I got home I ran around trying to figure out what things I might need – I got the bassinet out of the attic, and got a car seat ready. At a certain point I remember looking around and realizing there really wasn’t much else to get ready, because I didn’t have much. I got a call around 4:30 that said CPS actually wanted to bring the baby to our house, so they could look around and take some photos.

In a way, this was good because we had slightly more time to get things ready. But then we also wanted to clean and make sure everything would be up to CPS standards. My Sister In Law also graciously sent us a couple of pizzas. This, by the way, is a great idea for Foster families with a new placement (or anyone going home with a baby, tbh).

Eventually a car pulled up and there was a huge flurry of activity. It was an Amazon Prime 4 hour delivery. My coworkers had sent us a delivery of formula and bottle and PJs. I think we sort of freaked the delivery driver out, but we needed those essentials and ended up using them that night! It also really put into perspective what babies need.

Around 7:30 the CPS worker got there with Baby Girl A. She brought this beautiful, tiny, baby inside, had us sign a lot of paperwork**, took some pictures of the house and then she left.

Somehow the ~4 hours we had to prepare seemed like both the shortest time ever and also the longest few hours. In the days that followed we had so many friends and neighbors bring gifts, hand-me-down clothes or baby items, food and caffeine. We feel so lucky to have that village to help us out. And seriously, thank goodness for 4 hour Amazon Delivery.

 

*Some people have asked about why someone might need to discuss it. For Foster to Adopt homes you may want to assess the level of “risk”, or you may want to make sure the child sounds like the right fit. Of course, some people may not really need that time at all. It really is only a few minutes to decide. If you wait too long, the court will work to place them somewhere else
**The paper work includes the official paperwork saying we are her foster home, medical consentor paperwork, visitation paperwork, any follow up appointments, and medical release paperwork.

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