March of 2014 we received a call from DSS. They asked me if I would go to the children's hospital, take infant CPR classes and pick up a newborn from the NICU. They had a baby with a heart condition that needed a foster home. I said no. We were going to stop fostering. We had decided that we would go through adoptions for a placement.
We were weary. Years of fostering had worn us down. The wait, the unknowing, the attaching and moving of kids was hard on all of us. Anthony and Larissa has been with us for 3 years before they got TPR. There was a point towards the end when the biomom was offered housing and we thought for sure that they would go home. Almost 3 years in our home, at some point they became ours.
For another foster child I took many trips to the burn clinic in August. A 6 week old baby with an iron imprint on his face. He had to be held constantly. We took turns holding him. We loved on him. I still have all of his baby pictures and one of his little jackets. He went home. His mom took a parenting class. Today I still worry about him.
The baby girl, she went home to her mom. While she was in care her mom had another baby. She came into care the baby and went home no longer the baby. The instability in that family. I worry about her. Her mom signed her back into care. We were upset, they didn't call us. I have all her baby pictures and her Bumble Bee Halloween costume.
And it went on. So many children, babies. So much hurt and pain in their lives. We offered a brief safe place. A place of love and caring. Sometimes a permanent home. Still, all those little lives and their stories take their toll on you. You start to really worry about our society. You begin to wonder where the good parents are. Little pieces of our hearts are scattered among all those children who went home. Some to a good home, some to a place that hadn't really changed. Some days the problem just seemed too big. Seriously, we ended up with 11 children. We never planned on having 11 children. The need is deep, the need is real. These children need homes, good homes. We are capped out, no longer able to take in children. Other people need to step up and help. The children need it. More people need to say yes, I will help a child in need.
That day in March, DSS told me that the baby they needed a home for would be short term, he was going to an aunt. I agreed. I knew that they called me because I do transporting and he would need to go to Columbia to see the heart specialist on a regular basis. He also needed around the clock heart medication. He also needed to be held, all the time. He wouldn't even fall asleep in the car seat, he hated that thing.
We had no idea that when we went and took those CPR classes that they would be for our future son.
We had no idea that when we said yes we would be taking on a little red headed firecracker.
We had no idea what a blessing we were saying yes to.