Monday, April 7, 2014

The Placement That Almost Was

It's been a little while since I've written any type of update on our foster care journey, but there wasn't much to tell. Until recently that is.
After all of the stress and frustration of our licensing process, and the fact that it took 5 months to complete, we were completely expecting some sort of feeling of accomplishment or arrival. A feeling that the stress was finally to an end and now we were on to the fun part. Except, we were never told that we were officially licensed, so we kept waiting and waiting to hear something...anything.
And then on Tuesday of last week, I received a call from our licencing rep. who called to tell me that everything had been submitted and we just needed to wait on them to file all of our paperwork. Good news! Then she asked if I had a few minutes to talk about a possible placement. She explained that they had a sibling group that needed to be moved to a foster-to-adopt home and wanted us to consider taking them. I was completely shocked because: 1.we were receiving our first placement call and we weren't even licensed. 2. it was more kids than we had planned on taking. And 3. the kids were a little older than we had originally said we wanted. I started thinking about car seat arrangements, schools, bedrooms, clothes, everything that we hadn't planned on.  I told her that we would think about it, and because the kids didn't need moved for several months, we had time to make a decision.

So, Wednesday comes and I'm at the grocery store and my phone rings again. I didn't answer it because I didn't recognize the number....but now I wish I had. I listened to the voice mail and it was the placement coordinator asking us if we'd take a brand new baby from the hospital and if we said yes, we'd have to be prepared to pick him up that day. I quickly tried to leave the grocery store and call him back. By the time I called (5 minutes later) another family had responded yes and their file had been submitted to the county. The placement coordinator said he would submit our file as well, and said he would respond once he hears something (within an hour or so). He explained that he would text me with a "yes" or "no". So we waited for a text message to come through that would mean the difference between going to sleep that night with a baby in the house, or life continuing as usual. An hour and a half later we received a text message that the county wasn't interested in a second referral, and so someone else had been chosen. We were really disappointed, but didn't really have time to dwell on it. In that same text message, the placement coordinator explained that they had another baby that would be needing a home the next day and wanted to know if we'd take her. Of course we said yes! So once again, our file was submitted and we waited. We were told that court was the next morning and we would hear something around 11/12 or we would hear something around 3/4 depending on when the court hearing would actually be held. I spent all of that evening packing a diaper bag and installing car seats and trying to prep Jordan for the possibility that he'd have to pick up the baby by himself if I wasn't able to leave work quickly enough. I picked out clothes, blankets, toys, books, snacks....everything I could think of that might be needed during the pickup. We were about to get our first placement and I was going to miss it...but I wouldn't be unprepared!

So then Thursday comes and I have to go to work and continue life as usual. We spent all of Thursday waiting for the phone to ring with a "yes" or "no". Again, anticipating that our lives were about the change. Around 1:00 I finally received a text message saying that the county had really liked our file, but they chose another family with more experience. Our placement coordinator assured us that it was great news that the county liked our file, and that it would help if we took on some respite placements to gain more experience.

So after 3 calls and 3 days of ups and downs, we still had no placement. It was a little bit of a relief to have an answer and not be in limbo, but it was incredibly disappointing. We had planned and hoped, but it hadn't worked out. We haven't received any calls in the last couple of days, so we wait. I do feel that we are better prepared for when we actually do get a placement, and for that I'm thankful. Throughout all of these possible placements, we prayed that if these were the children that were supposed to come into our home, that it would work out. We did everything that we could and the rest is left in God's hands...and after that we just have to trust. It's a relief to know that we may have possibly been spared of much more significant heartbreak than the disappointment that we felt. And we're grateful that these babies were placed with the families that they needed. So now we wait and wait a little longer, and keep our phones nearby for the next phone call. And pray for patience and understanding as we try to continue to live our lives.

1 comment:

  1. Foster mom, here. No worries, (online) friend. When we started fostering I was surprised at the lack of calls at first, followed by spitfire calls in a row. We said yes quite a few times when another family was chosen or responded more quickly. I learned to answer every call (even if I didn't recognize the number, I totally get what you're saying there!), and my husband and I agreed in advance on age/sex parameters so we had no lag time checking with each other and could answer immediately. We started slow. We now have 6 kids in our home (7 months, 3 years, 6 years, 8 years, and our two bio kids - 13 and 14). We've had quite a few kids through our home and each and every one taught us something and we hope we had a positive impact on them. We love the foster life and can't imagine doing anything differently.