I was crazy to quit a job I loved doing work that I was really good at. We were crazy to sell our house and at least ½ of our possessions and move to Savannah. We were foolish to think being foster parents in a town where we knew practically no one and had no support network was a good idea. And if I had thought all this through, there is no way this risk adverse, financially conservative, control freak would do this.
But we did. And it has been amazing. In the past year we have gotten to know and love four amazing kids. We have experienced a magical Christmas with a house full of presents for two of the kids. We got to parent a child of a different race who taught us so much about ourselves and society. I wish everyone would just love like that wonderful little four year old could love and not care what color someone’s skin was or even their socioeconomic status. Just love. Amazing.
Then there is this latest placement. I got a call late Tuesday afternoon as my work day was winding down from my RD (resource development) case worker. Would Tim and I take a one year old girl?
My first response, “No, we have no bed for a baby, none of the gear.”
RD called back, “What if we give you a crib?”
Me, “I’d have to have daycare and I haven’t been able to find one that will work with us. Let me make some calls.”
I called the daycare around the corner from us and no, they didn’t have any spots but their other location in midtown did. So yes, I said we would take her. By 6:30 that evening, Miss A was at our house. Miss A wasn’t too happy about it and I was still in shock that I had agreed to take a little one this little. And Tim, well he had no idea – surprise honey, I’m going to need you to swing by DFCS and pick up a crib on your way home!
Thankfully the investigating case worker had stopped by Walmart after removing Miss A from her home and picked up some essentials. For the first time ever, a child came with new clothes in a duffel bag and a few toys. Thank you God. We had nothing. I left work right after agreeing to take this baby and hit a baby consignment store. I knew we were getting a crib so I focused on getting a portable playpen and stroller. I also picked up a couple of outfits and bibs. This and the duffel bag is what we had on hand to care for what turned out to be a 17 month old little girl who was scared and missing her mommy.
Wednesday morning my cousin Kim Gossage called to check on us and see if we really did get a baby in our home. I’m sure I sounded crazy on the phone. Yep we have her and she’s great but we have nothing. I don’t even know what all we need and I have no idea what kind of food to feed her. But Kim did. She put together a list of basic baby gear stuff and posted a link to the Amazon list on Facebook. What happened after that was a miracle. By Friday the boxes started rolling in. And they haven’t stopped. We have been getting four or more packages a day full of all the stuff babies need. As I opened the first packages from my cousin Laura in Maine, I laughed at the onesies that are just like the ones she and Kim have for some event they do each year in Maine. When I opened the diaper genie from Kim, I wept. Seriously wept. The generosity and kindness shown to us and this little girl are overwhelming. Here I am in a town where I know a handful of people but really don’t KNOW anyone yet, where I don’t have a ready list of babysitters and I still feel like a tourist when I’m downtown. And yet I have gotten so much support from all over the place and from many, many people I have never met. (Kim Gossage’s family is the bomb!) Thank you doesn’t seem like enough, but seriously thank you!
The midtown daycare didn’t work out. Miss A and I got to spend three days together while I called around to half a dozen daycares near us or on the route to work. (Thank you to my wonderfully supportive and helpful job for the three days off of work with no notice). Wouldn’t you know it, the Christian daycare around the corner, the one I really wanted to use, had room and took little Miss A. Today is her first full day in daycare (we did a half day yesterday) and she wasn’t a fan. She screamed as I left. I could still hear her screaming as I got in my car. Yeah, that’s not fun. But it is good, it means we have bonded and all foster and adoptive parents will tell you, bonding is a huge deal.
Food – I figured out what to feed her. She is a big fan of yogurt and chocolate pudding. The packaged stuff in the grocery stores for toddlers, she hates. But broccoli cheese soup and Ritz crackers were a hit. I’m certain we will figure this out. No child ever goes hungry at my house.
I have to say that this is all working out for our benefit and for our good. But we are just following where God is leading. That’s how I know this thing we are doing is God. We get to be His hands and feet to these little ones who need a soft place to land while the adults in their lives hopefully get their issues figured out. These overly generous folks that responded to a Facebook post about a foster family needing gear, they get to be His hands and feet to an overwhelmed foster mom. And hopefully little Miss A gets to grow up in a world where this is normal, people serving and being served by each other, one where love is abundant and always available when she needs it.