I sit here writing this at a very late hour bleary eyed and incandescently happy. Friday afternoon we got a phone call for our first placement– a little girl fresh off the press. In a matter of hours CPS brought her to us and after a mind boggling two and half hours of paperwork our agency case manager and CPS packed up and left us alone with a precious, tiny baby girl. My head is still spinning a little.
We actually got our first phone call for a placement the day before; Thursday. That was such a nerve wracking phone call, mostly because of the unknown. The unknown is the hardest part of this entire journey to be sure. I was a nervous jittery wreck by the time they called us back. I just felt so much anxiety about the whole thing. It was definitely a learning process as we were under the impression that once they called us we would have a definite placement–this is not the case as we soon learned. What really happens is our agency is contacted about a placement, Upbring goes through their database for suitable families, they choose families and then start making phone calls. Upbring calls and ask if you are willing to take the placement and then they tell you they will alert CPS you are a willing candidate. Upbring alerts CPS and then CPS looks through the list of families and then decides which family is the best match for the child. Then your agency calls you back–eventually–and lets you know if you’ve gotten the placement or not.
So, Thursday we got a phone call, and when they called back to tell us we didn’t get it I was really really disappointed. I cried a little. I was more upset that I had misunderstood the process and I felt, understandably, that we had been misled about the process. But Sam was quick to point out that Upbring just can’t tell CPS that we will take the child–we have to give consent. That means they have to call us, and then update CPS, and then call us back. We just misunderstood.
We weren’t expecting another phone call so soon after our first. We were actually on our way out the door to IKEA on Friday when my phone rang. This time I felt completely at peace after they called. I think because I really knew what to expect I was much more calm and relaxed. They had a placement needing a family, we said yes and twenty minutes later I got a text from our case manager that our placement would be happening that day and the CPS agent was already at the hospital discharging the child. Things moved so quickly we didn’t even have time to go to the store and buy clothes or diapers. In a few hours our agency case manager was here, and then the CPS agent and the little girl.
It really did take about two and half hours to get through all the paperwork, the introductions, and then all the information they had to relay from the hospital. Once that was said and done, the CPS agent left and then our case manager made sure we were comfortable, answered all our questions, reminded us to call her if we had any questions or concerns and left too.
It was late at night by this time, but we still had to go to the store to pick up things Baby E (that’s what we are calling her) needed right then. So we–unbelievably–put this baby we’d known for a few hours in the car and went to the store. Yes, it seemed nuts to us too. But, it went beautifully. The next morning our case manager text me to check in and see how we were doing. Just one of the many reasons fostering through an agency is the best way to foster.
So far things are going very smoothly. She’s already almost back up to her birth weight, and she’s eating and sleeping well. What the future holds for Baby E is unsure but for right now we are enjoying her! She is the sweetest, cuddliest thing ever. Lemon loves her too! We have been so so so blessed to have so many family, church family, and friends be so excited and supportive of us and Baby E! She is already loved by so many people.
The next couple of weeks will go quickly and her first court hearing will be in about two weeks. Please keep us in your prayers as we transition into parenthood; for Baby E and all the important decisions being made that will impact her for the rest of her life; for her bio-parents; and for every person who is involved in the decision making process for Baby E. Whatever is decided we want what is best for Baby E.
It did take me a couple of days to get to a place where I had the time to write this post–I didn’t sleep at all the first night so welcome to parenthood–but that is already getting easier and easier as we establish a routine.