The baby, who was in the NICU, that we were called for had some medical setbacks and couldn't be discharged. I went to the hospital to visit him on his original discharge date. I fell completely in love. He's sooo tiny and has a head full of black hair. On Thursday- just 2 days later- I got a call from the caseworker to let me know he wasn't coming into care. His relative resource came through and he'd be discharged to her when the time came. I was sad, but ultimately knew it was the right answer for the situation. Relative resource was already successfully parenting baby's siblings, and families should stay together if at all possible.
I talked with Brandon, friends, and my doctor about what our family might look like in the coming years. Baby 9's Termination of Parental Rights petition is here and being heard in court soon. We don't know how long the court process will take, but it seems pretty certain that she will be freed for adoption. Once that happens, we will be placed on 'adoption hold'. Adoption hold means that no new babies can be placed with us until the adoption is finalized- 8 months if everything goes smoothly or 2 years if the parents choose to appeal the termination. Th purpose of adoption hold is to prevent changes int he family that would disrupt the adoption. There have been families who got new kids and changed their minds on adopting the child already int heir home. It looked like our options were to advocate for a new placement in the next month or so, remain content with our 3 babies until after 9's adoption, or start some basic oral fertility meds and consider a biobaby. It was dependent on the day which way I was leaning.
This Friday, I got a call from the caseworker who took me to see the baby in the NICU. She said the relative resource for the baby had backed out, and wanted to know if we were still willing to take him when he was discharged. She mentioned they were also looking for a foster family for the 2 siblings who would likely be coming into care Monday. I said, "I'm just thinking outloud here, but would you want to consider us for the whole sibling set?". She said she would have to check with the matchers since we'd be pushing our maximum number of kids on our license. I told her I needed to speak with Brandon and consider our capacity before committing to anything. We'd probably ask for daycare for the older two... She said she'd have to get special approval to give daycare to a stay at home Mom.
I started crying as soon as I hung up. You guys, Baby 11 is coming. No fertility treatments or practiced thankfulness- just a beautiful baby who needs the space that's open in our story. I called our caseworker to let her know the baby was coming and to discuss her thoughts on the older siblings. I was concerned that they would find a family for them who was willing to take the baby too, and I'd get another, sorry he's not coming, call. My caseworker was honest about that being a possibility but not a likelihood. She said she'd see what she could find out for me.
Less than 15 minutes after the first call for Baby 11, I received another call. Baby's caseworker, my caseworker, and the matcher were on speaker phone. They wanted to let me know that the older siblings were not coming into care on Monday. They were coming into care right now- like they were already in the office right then. We had approval to take the whole sibling set and approval for the county to pay for daycare for the 2 big kids. they said, "What are you thinking?"
I said, "I think we can do this."
2 hours later, 2 caseworkers pulled into my driveway with Baby 12 and Baby 13. A 4 yr old girl and a 3 yr old boy. Baby 12 told me, "Relative Resource said you're my new Mom.", and Baby 13 tried to hustle $3 from my Mom in exchange for using the potty. They are adorable. They fit in perfectly with our family. I'm certain we're still honeymooning with behaviors, but so far, so good.
I am obviously not familiar with their whole case yet, but the county has been involved for years. They know the situation pretty well. From what I can tell, this is going to be a hard case. It'll likely be a long case. I think this family just needs someone who is not going to leave- no matter what happens. They've had a lot of people leave them when times get really tough. I'm not going to pretend I'm not scared, but I think I can be that person who stays after threats, and stays after behavior, and stays after hurt feelings.
We'll take 3 kids on a Friday evening. We'll run the course. It's what we do.
|30yrs, 28yrs, 8yrs, 4yrs, 3yrs, 3yrs, 2yrs, 1 month|