As mentioned yesterday, I’m still not over the call I got for four children – 3yr old twin girls, a 7yr old boy, and 8yr old girl. On the heels of that disappointment, I agreed to meet a 15yr old girl with intellectual delays. The child had been in care for some time but the past year had been spent in an institution which sounded top rate. There she’d finally received a formal diagnosis and started on medication that actually helped. Her time there is at an end so the social worker is touring her around to select a foster family to settle with. The goal is that she’ll remain with said family until she ages out of foster care in 2 1/2yrs. They left feeling quite happy. But I left dreading having her here. The hour she’d visited felt like forever. I couldn’t imagine having her here all the time. I tried very hard to figure out life with her but I kept failing. No amount of positives – like her being at her birth mom’s every weekend and being in school full-time – could alleviate the sense of dread that had settled on me the moment I saw her. And so, I had to say no to that placement. And, after the flurry of excitement, everything’s the same. Hopefully not for long.
Two and a half weeks ago, I was moving beds around – because that’s what I do with all my free time. Athena ended up with three beds in her room, not including the trundle bed that is ready in a matter of minutes. As I made the beds and looked into the future, I found myself thinking, “I’d love to have 3yr old twin girls and maybe a 7yr old or 8yr old.” I went to bed dreaming of that configuration.
In the morning, I received a call from the private fostering agency I work for. The case manger was wondering if I’d be interested in a placement of 3yr old twin girls, a 7yr old boy, and an 8yr old girl. The sibling group was set to be apprehended that day. I was certain this was the situation for us. It was exactly what I’d thought of the night before. Of course I said yes.
Since it work for a private agency, my yes didn’t make anything certain. My employer presented me to the children’s aid that contacted them. Usually at least two homes from my agency are offered as options. Sometimes children’s aid has involved several private agencies. That means there are many homes being looked at. The social worker combs through the choices and picks one that will hopefully be best suited for the children.
In my years of fostering, I’ve said yes to many situations that never came about. But I’d never had such a specific thought as I had while arranging Athena’s room. I could see the 3yr old girls and their older sister in the room even before I got the call.
All day I waited. The case worker called many times – but not about the four children. There was a set of boys, aged 7 & 9, and a 15yr old girl she wondered if I’d want. What I really wanted was those four children. But I said yes to the boys and that I’d be willing to meet the 15yr old who was being transferred from an institution back into foster care.
The boys went to another foster home within my agency. And, at the end of the day, I found out that children’s aid hadn’t gotten a warrant to apprehend the four children. They weren’t coming to me after all. I nearly cried. Normally, I know not to get my hopes up when I get a placement call. But this one had seemed so sure. I had everything for that exact situation. I would have just needed to run out and get another vehicle that could transport six small children and myself.
I’ve left the three beds up in Athena’s room and made matching duvet covers. The extra bed was supposed to be temporary until I took it down and delivered it to someone else. But now I can’t bear to part with it. Those four children might still come. Even now, I can’t get them out of my mind. Praying the Lord continues to move on their behalf wherever they are.
And then I was still left with the prospect of the 15yr old………..(more on that coming tomorrow)
In October I handed in all the adoption paperwork. I’d been waiting for my social worker to book a meeting. Apparently, she’d be waiting for the paperwork before booking a meeting. So I dropped it off. She mentioned being busy and that I was at the bottom of her list. I expected to hear from her by now. It’s been 5 months since I handed in the paperwork and one year since we first met about starting the adoption process again. There’s a complicated system that prioritizes some families over others. Just after contacting my adoption worker in November – leaving messages she didn’t respond to – I received a letter from the director of the adoption department. The mass mail out encouraged prospective adoptive parents to continue to wait. There was an explanation that priority is given to those willing to adopt older and/or special needs children as well as sibling groups. My adoption worker knows I am open to all three of those categories. I’ve left another message. Maybe she’s completed the other homestudies she had to do and can finally get to mine. In the meantime, I’ve gotten a room ready in case my wildest dreams come true and we really do get a baby or babies. If not I can move the crib/toddler bed out and put in full size beds. For now I’ll keep them up to show we’re ready for babies – even if that’s not what we end up with.