There's a new baby in the house!
Baby P left our home just over three weeks ago. We are supposed to call the assessment center (the facility that processes new children who come in the system and finds them foster parents) to let them know when a child has left our home, so they know that we're "open for placement" and can call us for new children. We didn't know we were supposed to do this. So for two weeks our home was very quiet, and frankly, pretty boring. Once I realized my oversight, I called the assessment center right away to let them know we were open for more kids. A few hours later, bam! New baby. We've had her for nine days now, and she's eleven days old.
She's been a happy, healthy little newborn so far. I'm thankful for so many things with her: she only wakes up twice (sometimes once!) at night; she eats well and goes straight back to sleep during those night feedings. She likes being held and looking around. She lets me know when she's ready for a nap by sucking her hand, rubbing her eyes, and giving small cries of complaint, and then she naps willingly in her bassinet during the day. She doesn't protest her carseat too much, and usually sleeps once she's installed. That's more than I can say for either of my boys as newborns! Or maybe I'm finally getting the hang of this baby thing.
People often ask me how the boys are liking the baby. I reflexively say, "Oh, they love her!" Which is true. But closer to the truth is that they barely notice when we have a baby, particularly a newborn. She sleeps most of the day. They give her gentle little hugs and kisses when it's her (or their) nap time. Truth be told, their life hasn't changed very much in the day-to-day things. We still do school time in the morning, we still have play dates and go for walks at the bike trail and to the park. There's been a few times when they want to do something with me and I have to say "We can do that a little bit later, right now I have to feed (or fill in the blank) Baby B".
We've been so blessed by the generosity of friends throughout our short foster care experience:
- a meal dropped off on the day of our first placement of newborn Baby A
- the many friends and family who have been willing to watch the boys anytime while I take care of errands related to foster care - whether it's visiting a baby in the hospital, taking a baby for a visitation, or picking up a new baby at the hospital. Foster care would be very difficult without this support.
- the new Moby Wrap that a friend from my moms group gave me (for free!). It is seriously the comfiest baby carrier I've ever worn and I regret not getting one for my boy babes. It would have made life so much easier.
- Baby girl clothes we've been given by friends - pink outfits were certainly something lacking in my stockpile of clothing.
We've been asked how long we'll have Baby B. We know we'll definitely have her for two more weeks. At the end of March there is a court date that will decide how her situation will change: she may go back to her mom, she may stay with us for at least six more months, or there may be a search for an adoptive family (if this happens, we most likely won't be able to adopt her, for complex reasons I can't get into here).
For now, I'm so enjoying snuggling this fuzzy newborn head.