It's amazing how quickly things change in Foster/Adopt Land when time usually seems to stand still in that world. Last Monday, after over two months of waiting to get licensed by my new agency, I was about aready to go over there and ask if they wanted me to write up the homestudy for them. Then, the phone rang...
The program director at my agency said, "Tammy, I have a few things to talk to you about." What then came out of her mouth absolutely sent me reeling.
1. She had two pages left to finish my homestudy.
2. She just emailed questionnaires to my personal references.
3. She's hoping my references will respond immediately because...
4. She needs to get my licensing number right away because...
5. She has not one, but two babies for me if I want them!
She had very little information on the girls other than that the 11-month-old had been removed and placed in another foster home on Friday after some questionable findings with her newborn baby sister. The other foster home was a brand new home and had no experience with infants. Older baby was placed with them on Friday, and by Friday night, they were already asking to have her moved because they were completely overwhelmed and had no clue what they were doing. She said that if I was willing to take both girls, she was pretty certain they'd be mine if I said yes. They just had to check with the caseworker and explain that I was a few days away from having my licensing number, but that I'd already fostered before so I knew what I was doing.
I said, "No."
It absolutely KILLED me to say "no" because being single, it takes months for me to get a placement unless the children are already in care. Caseworkers want couples or stay-at-home moms, so if I get my placements the "normal" way, it takes forever. The Booger Bear came to me from another foster home as well. But I had no idea how I was going to be able to take care of a newborn and a soon-to-be one-year-old by myself! So I told the director that I didn't have two cribs and that I was a little concerned about being able to handle that on my own, so as much as it was killing me, I thought I needed to say "no." Then I did what any self-respecting adult would do.
I called my Mommy.
During that conversation, I ended up pep-talking myself into calling my director back and saying, "You know what! Let's give this a try!" And as of right now, I am so glad I did!!!
On Tuesday, she called me back and asked how soon I could take the 11-month-old already at the other foster home. She said that the parents were nervous wrecks and that she wasn't comfortable leaving her there anymore. I said, "I'm ready for her tonight if you want me to take her!"
I still wasn't licensed, but they moved her as a "respite" placement with the understanding that she would be an official foster placement as soon as we got my number. Her foster parents were bringing her over to my house themselves because they had some things to bring with her. And I opened the door to the most beautiful little girl ever! Understandably timid and scared, but she came to me and let me take over. She even fell right to sleep and slept over 12 hours the very first night!
At that point, there wasn't much information on her baby sister. Just that she was, in the caseworker's words, "a whooooolllle other ballgame." So I took my "Little Miss" and started to do what I could to make her comfortable and to get her used to me before our lives become insane again when "Itty Bitty" baby comes home...