Thursday, July 29, 2010

We're Officially Foster Parents!

Yeah, I know...most of you know that already :) But what else do you title your first post after uh...what's it been now? 4 months? I think so.

So yes, we are definitely foster parents. Hence the absence. Plus a WHOLE LOT of other stuff that also happened that kept us on our toes. or at the very least away from the blog.

We received our license on March 19th or so. We also that day received our final notice that funds came through for the downpayment on our house, somewhat unexpectedly. Wonderfully, we already had planned that night to go out together to the Black Eyed Peas concert, which turned into a mini little celebration night for us. Fun times.

The next week we spent "paper pregnant". You experience all of these interesting terms when you enter the world of foster-adoption. Some people use them differently, this one is no different. The use here refers to the time when you are officially waiting for a baby and all the interesting pieces that go with it. What I'd say is it's very similar to that time frame between hearing the first heartbeat/that first doctor appointment where you're pregnancy is confirmed and the time when you learn of the sex of the baby (or, if you're not into that, I suppose the time you get to see your baby pretty clearly on an ultrasound with the face and a wave and all that...). You don't get to hold them yet but you know at least more than you ever have about the actual baby that's coming. If you can picture that time, I remember like it was when I was pregnant with Logan, the wait was hard. Everyday I tried to find out as much as I could about the baby inside of me, what he/she might be doing, might look like, all that stuff. Desperately waiting for that next appointment when you can learn just a little bit more. Is it one? Is it twins? Boy, girl? All of that anticipation, curiosity, and excitement.

In the case of fostering, you aren't waiting for a dr appointment but a phone call. Not just any phone call THE phone call. And as soon as you're officially licensed you're placed on "the list" of folks to call and therefore can get a call at any moment. So at any moment the phone can ring and it could be THE call. Instead of wondering what the heartbeat will sound like and what you'll be able to see in the ultrasound, you're wondering when THE call will happen, whether THAT ring will be THE call, and what you'll hear when it does happen. How many? Girls/boys? Ages? Race? Situation? So much anticipation.

By the time our first call came I actually had almost gotten over the idea that we'd get a call. We wondered if we'd actually get one. And, I'd stopped thinking every phone call woult be THAT phone call. So much so that when the phone call rang at 11:45pm on the 27th (sat), I was irritated that J was calling me again after I had just hung up with him! To my surprise we had our first placement call. A boy and a girl. Adding them to our home brought us to having 3 kids almost exactly 1 year apart, ages 1 1/2, 2 1/2, and 3 1/2. They arrived at our house about 1:30 in the morning.

Those kiddos were with us just for just over 2 months. Someday I'll type up our experience with that. But overall it was challenging, we learned A LOT about being foster parents and "the system", about how our son would be as a brother, how we would be as parents to a girl, and what it's like to send kiddos "home". Someday I'll type up more about that too.

Of greatest importance, we learned that we LOVE being foster parents. When we signed up for this journey we figured we'd get through the whole fostering thing until we found kiddos that could be ours forever. BUT, we found that we love the fostering part. At least for now. I'm sure I'll right more on that someday too. and I'm sure that will change overtime as we get burned out or see more stuff in "the system". But for now we're loving being foster parents.

We started getting calls for more placements (kiddos) the day after our first ones went home. The first call never materialized (which worked out well, we were worried about whether or not it would be a super good placement for our family but said yes and prayed about it). Then it went a few days without calls. Then we had 5 calls on the same day for about 15 kiddos (one of which was a newborn! and one call was for a known potential adoptive placement), but we couldn't take any of them because we were in California at the time. We were taken off the list until we got home, and then the next day we received a call for our current little guy, an 11 month old little boy (now 12 months). We never felt like he'd be a permanent placement and he probably won't be for too much longer. We'll see. But we have learned even more that we LOVE being foster parents.

This week we've started getting calls again, though none of them have worked out. We potentially have 2 openings, so we could potentially get 2 more kiddos at any time. And I still have that feeling about waiting for THAT call. It's still so exciting. And we're loving every minute of it. Really.

Maybe God had something up his sleeve with all this afterall.


Mandi said...

Yay!! This absolutely warms my heart to read. <3

AW said...

This is a lovely post! And that fact that you've LOVED's been on your face every time I see you.


Raina said...

I'm so glad to see you blogging since it's hard to keep up with you otherwise, and even more glad to hear how much you're loving this journey. May God richly bless you for your selflessness!!!

sleepinl8 said...

This is so sweet. I frequently think about children who don't have parents. It's nice to knbow that you won't wallow in misery just because if infertility - you will do what you can! :)

Allison said...

Fun to read. we are currently waiting for "the call" and a few meetings and terminations happening in March. We started this foster adopt journey almost 2 1/2 years ago. Our first placement 6 week old girl, 14 month old boy (siblings 12 months apart). After two years the kids returned home, much heartache and months of recovering. We still see our kids every few weeks and love being able to continue being in their lives- still hard. We are ready to love again, but this time we are going the legally free route. The thought of "risk" of returning home is too hard right now. Looking forward to reading more of your posts.

Mie said...

Welcome Allison! Sending them back can be hard - I hope this time you find a good legally free case that works just perfect for you. I have a lot of friends who have done the exact same thing - the risk was too much and they decided to go the straight adopt route and its worked for them. Hope to hear more about your journey and I'm glad you stopped by!