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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Our Next Big Thing

Gabe and I have started the process to adopt a child from CPS care.

Yup. Big news.

It’s also why I wanted to start this again – I started searching for something, another blog that outlined what the process looked like maybe. It was really hard to find. So that’s what I want this to be. A document of the process, and what it looks like for us. I can’t say I’m an expert, obviously, or even that our experience is “normal” but I do want to document what I can.

We’re working with Depelchin, and at the time I’m writing this we’re still really early on in the process. So far we’ve:

  • Attended the orientation/info session
    • This might seem small but it’s a required first step. And, really helpful to understand what’s needed. I (kind of on accident) went to s session on private infant adoption, and there’s a huge difference in the way each of them is done.
  • Turned in our application
    • It was 25 pages long.
    • Along with the application you turn in copies of your license and social security card, floor plan of your house, photo of every room in the house plus the yard, a current photo of everyone in the house, copies of your auto insurance, driving record, paystubs for the last 60 days and your bank statement for the last 60 days.
    • Whew
    • So, that alone could take people quite a while to get together.
  • Had an initial call with Depelchin
    • This was nice, our case manager let us know the application didn’t seem to have any red flags and what our next steps are.
  • Submitted References
    • We each needed 4 references, and they were sent a form to fill out about our parenting capabilities. They’ve all been submitted now!

Next up: Background Checks

 

ALEX (1)

 

Hello. It’s me.

I have something pretty interesting I think I’m going to start writing about, and I decided I needed to a bridge post, because in my last post Oliver was 9 months old. Woah.

Oliver:

He’s almost 3! I keep telling people he’s two and a half but the reality is we’re less than 2 months from his third birthday. If you aren’t a parent this might sound silly, but if you are, you get that I will hold on to every last day of him being 2.

The sleep thing still isn’t great, but he’s a fun and happy kid. It’s hard some days at work, but I’m almost used to it now.

Work:

Since I last posted I got a new job, got laid off from that job, and then found a new job. So it goes.

 

Anyway. Get ready for more posts in the near future, maybe.

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First Ornament

I think I’ve seen the idea floating around Pinterest, but I made an ornament for Oliver’s first Christmas.

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I got the clear ball from Michael’s and then cut the paper that had been at the head of his little hospital bed into strips and dropped them inside. Then I finished it off with his hospital bracelet.

It didn’t take very long to make, but is something that is obviously hugely sentimental. I can’t believe how tiny his little wrist was! And, I had been wondering what to do with that little piece of paper – this feels perfect.

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Oliver – 7 Months

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Well, we’re officially past the 6 month mark. I don’t know why, the halfway to a year mark wasn’t that big of a deal, but this one definitely felt bitter sweet.

The basics

Oliver is clocking in at over 19 pounds (probably closer to 20-21 at this point, actually) and to be honest I can’t quite remember his length. But, he was around the 75% for both, so he’s a pretty chunky monkey.

Milestones

He’s still working on crawling, he can go backwards and do circles like nobody’s business, but we haven’t gotten down the going forward yet. He can stand up, supported. He’s still VERY alert and taking it all in. When I drive him to daycare in the morning I love watching him look out the window because it looks like he’s taking in the whole big world out there.

Eating

We’re doing a combination of solid foods and breast milk. He eats about 3 meals a day. We’ve added in things like mangos, peaches, and green beans to the basics.

Sleeping

Nope. I don’t know what the answer is here. He still wakes up once a night, and I was bringing him into our room and feeding him, then putting him back. But then I started to feel like he was really only eating for comfort and so we tried to get him to go back to sleep without eating but it was really hard. We did it once or twice and it took like an hour, and then once night he cried and cried and so we gave in. So, last night we gave in and just fed him.

I’ve read all the stuff and a lot of it has to do with putting him down for bed, which he’s fine with.

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We dressed him like a chicken for Halloween, which was awesome. We’ve also got his Christmas pictures taken and are just waiting to see the finished product.

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