August 7th I received a call from foster care placement like I normally do multiple times a week. “Hello, this is ——- from placement, do you have any room in your home for a placement today?” I answered like I do every single time they call me, “We currently have 9 kids in the home and the only open bed we have is a crib in our room so the child would have to be under a year and sleep in our room with us.” The placement workers always say the children are older and they will mark it down that we are at a permanent over-cap and then they thank me for answering. There are SO many kids that need homes and not enough homes. People stop answering the calls because it is SO hard to say no when they call…at least for me it is. This time they didn’t thank me and end the call. This time I heard a baby crying in the background and I was placed on a brief hold. I thought for sure they would open up our file and move on to the next number on the call list. Instead, I was asked how quickly I could come to pick up this sweet baby.
Uh, well, um…without even thinking about it I said I could be there in 30 mintues.
Every sane person would have said no. Every logical person would have said, “no thank you, we have a full house.” However, my heart screamed ‘YES!’ Before I knew it, I was on my way to pick up this sweet baby boy. Imagine having to call your husband and tell him you were bringing home a baby. As I was driving to pick up the baby I call Dan. He answered. I said “hello.” He said “hello.” Then I said, “ Are you in a good mood or a bad mood.” I mean, what else was I supposed to lead off with? “Do you want 10 kids today?” His response to me was, “Well, I was in a good mood until you asked me that question and now I think I am going to be in a bad mood.” I told him about the baby and that I got a call asking if we could take him.
His response, “you didn’t say yes did you?” Uhhhhh….
I explained that I was already on my way to pick up the baby and that it was only going to be for 10 days. I cannot explain my heart. I knew Dan would understand and be on board to help, he just takes a little longer to win over than I do! We had actually been called to take this same baby about 5 months ago and said yes to him. For a variety of reasons that we didn’t know at the time, they ended up placing him with another family. I was heart-broken when they didn’t let us take him 5 months ago and was excited that we finally were going to be able to meet him!
Now, placement doesn’t give you a lot of information when they call you. I think they give you the least amount of information as possible because the more questions you ask the “easier” it is to say no to taking in a child. Let’s be honest, fostering children comes with a lot of unknowns and it isn’t easy. So without asking any questions I drove and picked up this sweet sleeping baby boy. It was surreal.
I walked in without a baby and walked out 30 seconds later with one.
Instant love. That is the only way I can describe what happened when I held that sleeping baby boy. His name (we will call him baby G) is the same name we were going to name our next boy if we ever had one. That is why it was so devastating when we didn’t get him placed with us when they originally had called us for him. Again, silly me thought that I knew God’s plan for us. I thought for sure I was going to have this amazing and perfect story on fostering and we would have this sweet baby boy and it would be everything we had hoped and dreamed about.
Well, about 5 hours in we realized what we signed up for. Baby G cried a lot. When I say a lot, I mean A LOT. I can’t go into details, but there was more fussy time than not.
However, I fell completely in love. I cannot explain it. I am confused by it.
He didn’t sleep through the night, he needed to be held constantly, but one smile would make you forget about the tears. Baby G cut his first 2 bottom teeth while he was here and learned how to roll over. My 13 year old daughter who was scared of babies actually held him…multiple times! We took turns holding him, loving him, feeding him, making him giggle and bouncing him when was crying.
The days were long. It was hard. I probably should have been fired from both my jobs. One job I took the baby to a few times and he cried and was disruptive. The other job I completely abandoned for 10 days and went MIA. I didn’t sleep much and I doubted myself as a mother because I couldn’t keep the baby from crying. As the week went on we learned more about Baby G and a little about his case. Not one time did I regret taking him in.
It was probably the hardest 10 days that I’ve had in a long time and at the same the most unforgettable and rewarding 10 days.
I didn’t want to give him back. While I didn’t know any of the details when I said yes to taking him, baby G just needed a respite home for 10 days. I reluctantly drove baby G back to his foster home on Monday night and may or may not have cried both on my way there and back home. I should have been relieved that I could go back to sleeping through the night and having a lot less crying in the house. The house feels empty now. I miss him terribly. Why did God give him to us for 10 days? How do you fall completely in love with a baby that basically cries all the time? I don’t have any of the answers, but I do know that my heart will never be the same.
I gave a piece of my heart back when I left him with his foster mom.
I told Dan that something in my heart feels different about Baby G. I don’t know why. I don’t know what lesson God is teaching me. I don’t know if I’ll ever even see him again. What I do know is that Baby G has a piece of my heart and I will forever love him and cherish the 10 days I had with him. Mama Sue loves you Baby G!