It's been a pretty crazy week in Foster/Adopt Land. In the past 6 days, I've been submitted for THREE possible placements! The first two ended up going to other families, but I'm still waiting to hear back on the latest one.
It's funny how you learn to roll with it as you get further and further into the process. Since I was verified on December 31st, I've had four potential long-term placements and one potential short-term respite care placement. I've had varying reactions as time has gone on, and I can tell now how I'm learning to take it as it comes.
My first possible respite job would have been for a 6-week-old baby girl. I would have had her for a week while her foster family was out of the state. I spent the entire week leading up to the day preparing for a 6-week-old preemie, only to find out the day before she was supposed to come that the judge ended up placing her permanently with a family member. I was SO BUMMED just because I really wanted the practice.
My second possible baby call (the first potential long-term placement) came one day while I was at lunch with my mom. I thought my heart was going to leap out of my chest when I saw that my agency was calling. I thought FOR SURE I was gonna get that baby. I even freaked out because my bathroom was dirty, so my mom went over there to clean it after lunch. I was CRUSHED when I found out later that I didn't get her. :-(
Third possible baby call came last Tuesday. I did pretty well not getting my hopes up too much, although I did run around and do some quick spot cleaning at the apartment just in case. I didn't get her though. I was a little bummed, but not totally devasted like I was the first time. And I was secretly glad it happened because it forced me to do the dishes. :-) I did, however, have a little pity party for myself for a moment. "Why won't they pick me? What's the matter with ME?!?" But I got over it quickly.
Potential baby number four call came on Thursday. I was excited because I really (and I mean REALLY) wanted a few days off work (that's an entire different blog in itself. I'll probably expand on that later). They called back twenty minutes later to apologize though and to tell me that they had accidentally posted the baby in the wrong county. I was rather proud of myself though because I didn't get bummed out about not getting the baby or anything. Although I WAS really bummed about having to go back to work on Friday. :-)
Potential baby number five is in the works as I type. I'm not freaking out. I'm not even expecting that I'll get him (although I'd love it if I did). My house is FAIRLY clean, so it should be fine. I might take out the trash or something if they call and say they're bringing him over. :-) I'm learning not to hyperventilate every time I see the caller ID from my agency. At least I know HOW the process works now, so I go into it expecting that I WON'T get the baby, rather than that I WILL. It makes it much easier.
For those of you who don't know how it works, here's a little explanation:
When a baby is taken from the home and a suitable relative can't be found, the child's case worker sends out a broadcast email to the county's case managers with the details. The case managers then "submit" interested foster parents' homestudies to the child's case worker. Each broadcast email closes at a certain time to allow multiple families to essentially apply for the job of fostering. After the broadcast closes, the child's case worker chooses a foster family from the many submissions they received. So it's not like there's a waiting list and they go in order, or a first-come first-served sort of thing or anything like that. They really do want to find the best fit for the child and the foster family.
Anyway... That's the scoop for today! Wish me luck on getting a baby soon. I'll keep everyone posted.