Okay, so, we’re back. I’ve been gone for a month because… Surprise! Last minute foster baby. He was here for the last 3.5 weeks and has moved on to his next home as of this morning.
Are we a baby home? No.
Were we planning to take a placement so close to our baby being due? No. Er… probably not. Well, I guess we’re flexible.
Were we in any way prepared for a baby? No. Well, I mean, kind of. We’ve been getting our place ready for our daughter to be born. But things weren’t actually ready yet. It was definitely a good reminder of how little stuff you actually need for a happy baby, and how much friend/family support you need for happy parents.
I super wish I could tell the little guy’s story, why we took the placement, and what will happen next, but alas that is the problem with foster blogs. The best stories often have to go untold.
You may remember from my last post how busy I was, and overwhelmed with summer stuff and baby prep looming. Well, things really ramped up when we decided to take an infant placement, but you know what they say: give your list to a busy person because they will get it done! We were just propelled into action for a while, and incredibly, a lot of stuff got done.
I do plan to continue posting 1-2 times a week from this point on, including when our little one is born, but this placement definitely gave me a reality check in terms of making time to write. I had absolutely no hope of finding any time to post during this placement! I have lots of interesting things in the works for this blog though, so I realize I will just have to prepare ahead more, and set up a new work at home mom schedule and supports before baby arrives.
Of course Polar Bear will be home on leave from work at that time – so that will be a massive help. This placement was about 3.5 weeks long and it was mostly just me at home with the kids while Polar Bear was at work. In the past I’ve really enjoyed that set-up when the kids here are close in age to Big Son, but it was a bit tricky being alone with an active 6 year old boy and a baby.
Anyway, a couple of takeaways:
1. We love fostering!
This was our 6th foster child, and I can say for sure that we love getting kids in! And so far, we’re pretty good at it. Even Big Son is so happy about it. He always wishes we could adopt everyone we help. He wants more and more brothers and sisters, and rarely acts out or gets jealous. I told him this morning I think he’s in the right family. (And that more forever-siblings are probably coming eventually.)
2. It’s not impossible to give back a baby
One of the (many) reasons we are not a baby home is the fear of overwhelmingly attaching to an infant who grows up feeling like I am the mom, and then having to send that child away from our home if/when they return to birth family or get adopted. Now, we only did this for 3.5 weeks, so not really a fair timeline in terms of attachment, but we were so scared about this whole issue when we accepted the placement, and it was actually fine. I think I got a teeny tiny glimpse into the experience of foster parents who run baby homes (which — I never understood before how people do that!). As long as my focus was simply on helping baby and birth family for a while, and seeing the bigger picture, it was fine. If ever I starting getting possessive or worried about the baby’s future, or mistrusting of anyone else involved, it got hard. So I trusted and helped as much as I could.
It was hard to see him go this morning, and Polar Bear and I both cried a fair bit, but I am honestly even more excited for our next placement now, and I actually feel pretty happy for baby as he moves on to his next adventure despite all the uncertainty in his life right now.