My mind could no longer focus on the excitement of a precious little baby, but instead on the regulations and rules of foster care. I was intimidated by thought of getting it all right and remembering to do the right things.
Alyssa was able to join us at the hospital to pick up baby D and she was very excited to meet her little brother. What I loved most about this moment was that Alyssa was unaware of what it meant to be in foster care. To her, he was simply her brother. She didn't care that one day he would be leaving us. She didn't care that he had different biological parents. She just loved him.
We met our social worker in the lobby and together we found our way to the NICU where baby D was being held. I can't share much except that baby D was born perfectly healthy and perfect.
I was able to hold him for about two hours while we waited for all of our paperwork to be finished and for the nurses to say their good-byes. They told me that they had 're-named' him amongst themselves and that they had been calling him Theo.
After I signed on all of the dotted lines and collected all of baby D's discharge papers, I was finally able to get him dressed and in his car seat. He was a tiny little thing and oh so precious.
One moment that touched my heart was when one of the nurses insisted on walking us to our car. It was then that she told us just how happy she was for baby D and that he was going home with us because she knew how much love he would receive in our home. She was genuinely thrilled to see his big sister, Alyssa, wanting to help out so much and knew that he would do great with our family. She tearfully said good-bye to little 'Theo' and everything suddenly got real.
Our social worker had her own set of papers for us to sign and then we were off.
The drive home was a bit surreal. I opted to drive and let Johnathon sit in the back with his son.
(I'm still adjusting to using that word: son.)
From there, everything just kind of fell into place. It's amazing how much parenting is like riding a bike. I quickly realized that the itty-bitty-baby part would be the easiest and the foster care part is what would be draining.
It's now been 11 days since we picked up our little guy and I honestly have a hard time remembering what life was like without him. Of course there was more sleep and more opportunity to be lazy, but just a few minutes of snuggles and it all seems worth it.
There are only a few things that make this journey difficult for me.
The first would be how unfair it is that I can't share any pictures. I understand why I can't, but it still stinks.
The second is, of course, trying to understand bio mom's train of thought. I can't share too much on this topic, but her choices really do sadden me.
The third issue is only an issue because I enjoy staying so organized, but I have a hard time keeping up with appointments, well child check-ups, county social worker, angels social worker, bio parents, countless phone calls, etc. It's always another name, another number, another appointment.
Just some interesting info...
- I'm not 100% on baby D's legal name, how it is spelled or even what it is. This makes EVERYTHING more difficult.
- Baby D has his days and nights mixed up... NOT FUN!
- Baby D is perfect. Except for the days/nights thing I just mentioned, he is 100%, without a doubt, the most perfect and well mannered baby I have ever had the opportunity to meet.
- My husband is in love. He is so in love that he willingly handles both night time feedings on his own.
- Madelynn is quite the big sister! :)