Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The house, she ain't empty no more.

On Friday, we got a call from The County asking if we'd take a placement of a 13-month-old for 3 weeks. Seems that her mother is 9 months pregnant and has no family or friends to help her out or watch the older child, so she's voluntarily placing her in foster care for the first 3 weeks so she can recuperate and get settled in with the new baby.

We said yes, obviously.

It wasn't certain when the placement would begin, but her due date was this weekend.

So on Sunday we had Niblet over to play, which involved us not getting a lot of sleep because she still wants us to give her a bottle and snuggles when she wakes up at night. Monday we went to work, but both planned on taking a nap the second we got home. fostermama picked me up from work and said "so now we go home and wait for the baby!" (She hadn't even gotten there yet and we were losing sleep over her!)

We went home, cleaned up a bit, started some laundry and muffins, and waited.
Finally the call came that they were on their way, and there they were!

fostermama and I had been taking guesses as to what race the little girl would be, as they hadn't mentioned it to us on the phone. That fact, alone, led us to believe she was white, because when it's not a white baby, they usually say "is that okay?" or something else stupid like that.
We're just used to our babies being not-white. But, anyway, when I saw them getting out of the car, I saw her little hand poking out and, sure enough, she's white.

She was a little hesitant at first, but once we got her interested in the cats and the toys, she didn't even notice when the case workers (one of whom she's known all her life) left. It didn't take her long, though, to start objecting if we got out of her range of vision. She figured out that we were "her people" and, though she doesn't know why, she's okay with it.

The evening went pretty well. She worked on getting to know all the toys. She drank her sippy cup like it was going out of style. She wouldn't eat much food, but we got a little bit into her. Then we decided it was time for her bath and bed. There's where the fun ended. She saw the bath and started crying. She didn't seem to dislike the bath, actually. I think it was just the "hey! where's my Mom! Why are you doing Mom things?!" She became very clingy after that, and developed a slight preference for fostermama, so she put the kiddo to sleep. She went down really easily, with slight fuss, and was out like a light.

Then, an hour later, she was up and screaming and there was no calming her. We brought her out with us and she lay on fostermama, sipping her cup and occasionally crying a very angry cry. Poor little chicken. There was really nothing we could do. She wanted her mom. She doesn't understand where her mom went or why she's with us. She was willing to be comforted and would start to fall asleep, but then she'd come awake a little and scream anew.

It went like this for about an hour. Then, after standing by the crib, rubbing her back while she cried, I left the room again. It seemed that having me there was possibly unhelpful because she would look at me and scream louder.
She cried for what seemed like an hour (but was probably more like 15 minutes) and finally fell asleep. She slept straight through until a little after 8am.

I feel so bad for this little girl. She likely has never spent the night away from her mom and isn't old enough to understand in the slightest. We're hoping we'll be able to visit her mom in the hospital soon, and then there will be frequent visits home during the rest of the time, but I suspect that each night will re-open this new wound and she'll have to go to sleep without the one kiss and hug she really wants.


Gawdessness said...

I am glad she is with you and that you get it.

Renee, said...

oh what a HARD situation! I cant even imagine how hard this must be for her mom to have to place her kids into fostercare just so she could give birth...wow so hard. :(

Fostermama said...

Oh the poor little one. Missing her mommy so much. I'm glad you have a new little one to love and comfort though!

A Special Family said...

Wow, that post reminded me what my first nights, and weeks were like with my 4 foster children....

Keep smiling :)

Fostermama said...

Updates, updates! Are ya keeping busy?