Baby 4 and Baby Girl both took to 10 very quickly. They wanted to be touching her and kissing her all the time. We explained what was happening Monday night at the dinner table. Baby 4 got teary eyed and wanted to talk about how he'll miss her and doesn't want her to leave. He also had a myriad of comments/questions about him leaving if his family can be safe. I reminded him that he's not in foster care and will live here forever no matter what happens in his family. He then asked me if I would have cried if he had gone home when he was in foster care. Seeing 10 leave obviously brought up his own grief and loss. I am proud of him talking about it so freely, though. Baby Girl is in total denial. In response to any questions about 10 leaving, she just shook her head no and signed 'all done'. Baby 9 was jealous and a bit displaced by the baby, so she's fine saying 'Goodbye'. 4 was comforted by talking about the next baby that might come. He might be a boy! He might be old enough to play outside with! 4 is excited to foster again. Brandon asked 9 if she wanted a new baby and she was very clear, "No.". We'll still have to work on her. She enjoys being the baby.
So I packed up all of Baby 10 belongings. She accumulated quite the collection in the 2 weeks she was here: clothes, shoes, books, diapers in two sizes, wipes, formula, rice cereal, bibs, burp cloths, blankets, swaddle wraps, bath soap, lotion, pacifiers, snowsuit (it is still snowing here in NY), coat, headbands. Everything the resource will need to take care of her for about a week, and clothes that should last until the next size up in a month or two. It might be overboard. I think overboard is a good description of how I foster in general. I want to be sure we make a difference. I want to be sure that we give everything we can.
I got the call after court and headed out to drop 10 off. It was a nice house in a beautiful neighborhood. Relative resource was pleasant and thanked me for caring for 10. She appreciated the notes I had written about immunizations, feedings, WIC, sleep schedules. Baby 10 was very comfortable with her right away. Turns out I had been saying baby's name wrong the entire time she was with us. Oops. I felt accomplished walking away knowing that they were set up to suceed in every way I could offer.
I cried pulling out of the neighborhood; then I turned down the radio and called the matchers to let them know we are open.
I had to stop myself from checking on baby 10 all night. I keep thinking she's sleeping in the swing or up in the crib. Baby 9 came and told me, "Baby's crying", and I had to remind her that Baby isn't here. It doesn't feel like we just fostered 10 for two weeks, she really became our family.
"Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation." Khalil Gibran