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Ring ring…

February 6, 2015

Wednesday 7:30 pm

And so it begins. I was just sitting down to dinner when the phone rang. It was the Children’s Home. This was the call I had been anxiously pacing and waiting for. I haven’t been able to concentrate on much of anything at work the last few days, so it’ll be a miracle if everything gets done this week. But here was the call to see if I could take a child. A 7 year-old little girl. My heart was pounding. I was suddenly terrified. I don’t know what I’m doing. There’s so much to think about. I didn’t even know what to ask. Surely there were some details I should be finding out. Instead, I listened, agreed to take her…”S”. They would be here in an hour or so.

As soon as I got off the phone with my caseworker, I called mom. Then a friend. I started texting as many people as I could remember of who said, “keep me posted.” I pulled off the plastic wrap from the Frozen DVD I bought last week and hit play so there would be something familiar playing when S arrived.

Caseworker called back. Change of plans. They were coming tomorrow. The DFCS worker wanted to keep the kids in a hotel overnight instead of traveling so far (an hour?) tonight. So sometime tomorrow afternoon I receive her. That gives me time to breathe. And pace. And worry about registering for school (First grade? Second?), making a doctor’s appointment, and making sure I had kid friendly food in the house.

I went to Target to look for anything else I might need. I paced up and down the aisles of the store, not really sure where to start. A girly pillow or stuffed animal? I should let her pick one out herself. I don’t know clothing sizes yet, so that’s impossible. Toys? What kind? Oh, I need to buy my niece a birthday present. But maybe I should let S help pick it out. I have no idea what I’m doing.

Could this BE any cuter? And I don't even like pink.

Could this BE any cuter? And I don’t even like pink.

I bought the pink owl pillow. I bought organic ketchup to go with the dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets. At least the “vegetable” will be healthy (ketchup’s a vegetable, right?) and might counteract whatever the heck is in those nuggets.

Whole grain dinos and organic tomatoes...this kid is gonna be so healthy.

Whole grain dinos and organic tomatoes…this kid is gonna be so healthy.

Three stores and a few hours later (yes I even went to “The-store-that-shall-not-be-named” because I loathe it so…because of this…THIS…

Reason #8,092 why I don't shop at this store.

Reason #8,092 why I don’t shop at this store.

…the bedding aisle, the only section I needed something from was IN THE MIDDLE of another aisle. Seriously?)…

I finally come home with tons of bags and find Frozen still playing on the TV (does it automatically loop eternally?) and my cold forgotten dinner still untouched. I start researching all about her new school (uniforms?), afterschool care, and putting away the fun things I bought. Somewhere close to 2:00 am, at the end of round 2 or 3 of Frozen, I shut it all down and try to sleep. Gonna be a new adventure in the morning.

Thursday 7:30 pm

Spoiler alert…still no child. This morning DFCS kept pushing back the drop-off time, so while I waited, I kept preparing. Amazing friends came by and brought donations…a booster seat, clothes, books…and kept me distracted while I waited. I had just scheduled the doctor’s appointment and printed out school registration forms when Caseworker told me to halt. S was staying in school until her siblings could be placed. We would have more details at 2:00 pm, hopefully with an ETA.

2:20 rolls by.

2:45.

Just before 3:00 Caseworker confirms what I already felt in my gut. S wasn’t coming. She’d been placed elsewhere, closer to home. My heart sank.

In almost the same breath I was told there might be a 5 year-old for me yet. Twenty minutes later, I’m told “M” is coming to my home, and her brother is going to another foster family, friends of mine in the next town, so they can have sibling visits. My friend texts me the news, “We’re going to be co-parents!” I’m already envisioning the play dates between brother and sister and sharing this fun time with a friend I already know, when another call comes. M and her brother found a home where they can be together. Of course that’s the better match. I hang up the phone. I start to laugh, which quickly turns into hysterical sobbing, which ceases just as fast as it all started and I’m suddenly calm. Or numb. It’s not even 4:00.

I’ve lost track of who all I’ve told. Or who knew about S but didn’t know about M and who doesn’t have a clue about any child coming or not. Over 500 texts sent and received, about 42 calls or missed calls or voicemails, and two little girls who were almost mine, but not. All in 24 hours.

I can’t stop thinking about their names, their stories, their situations. I knew my heart was going to get broken. I just didn’t expect it to happen before I even met them.

Time to sleep. We’ll see what tomorrow holds.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. brentwhite permalink
    February 6, 2015 4:14 pm

    Julie,

    Wow! What an emotional roller-coaster you’re on! God knows there’s child out there to whom you would be a perfect match. In the meantime, I’m praying that the Lord will give you patience and the peace that surpasses all understanding.

    Love,

    Brent

  2. Candace permalink
    February 7, 2015 5:04 am

    I worked for DFCS in foster care before my husband and I had our boys. You perfectly described the roller coaster of emotions that comes with fostering. You will be such a blessing to the sweet kids who are placed in your home. And for the record, all of us Mama’s are just as uncertain when it comes to raising our babies—–welcome to the club, my friend!

    • February 12, 2015 4:14 am

      Thanks Candace! I know DFCS seems to get a bad rep at times, but I’ve already seen that they have the child’s best interest at hand. Thanks for all the ways you loved and served.

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