Tuesday, October 4, 2016

a phone call...

A phone call.  That's all it takes to change how the rest of your day plays out or even your life.  And as a foster parent without a placement, every time my phone rings my heart races a little.  When I see the name of our placement coordinator on my screen, the feeling of excitement and the unknown is the same feeling I got going into each of our 20 week ultrasounds to find out if we were have a boy or a girl and how baby was growing.  I take a deep breath and answer, of course trying to mask my excitement a tad so our placement coordinator doesn't think I'm completely crazy, wondering what's in store for us on the other end of the line.  How old?  Boy or Girl? How soon will they come?  Will we have to say "no" for the first time?  

So it was Tuesday September 18th during the crazy rush of after school bus stop pick up, rush home to get a quick snack and change of clothes so Lincoln can get to his FMU class when I looked down at my phone in the car and realized I had a missed call from our agency and a voicemail.  All three boys were in the car ready to go and I pressed play to listen to the message.  I listened and jotted down notes, did a giddy screech, held back tears of excitement and called Tyler to tell him the details.  I got the go ahead from him, called our agency back and said a quick YES when she asked if we would be willing to take this sweet baby in.  This placement was a lot different, timing-wise, than our first placement.  With baby G I had a whopping 2 hours to get ready before he came to us.  This time I was first told it would be two days until M would be ready to be discharged from the hospital.  

Needless to say, Lincoln was way late for his class but it was well worth it :)  

Our last call was similar where we were waiting a couples days for baby to be discharged before she came to us and a relative stepped up literally an hour before she was supposed to be at our house.  So we were cautiously excited for M.  We now knew that a relative could step in at any point before he was discharged.  Because he was a preemie (born at 34 weeks) his discharge date kept getting pushed back.  Thursday turned into the weekend and the weekend turned into "maybe" Monday.  So we were prepared to go get him Monday afternoon but I wasn't counting on it.  I had the nursery all swapped out from newborn baby girl things back to newborn baby boy :)  I'm getting quite the workout with retrieving and putting away of clothes in the attic!!  Because I know how unpredictable preemies can be (thanks for all that experience, Lincoln!)  So I went to MOPS that morning and got the call during the meeting that he was ready to go and if I could meet the case worker at the NICU at 1:30.  Thankfully Tyler was able to come home early to take over for me at home with the boys and get Lincoln off the bus and I started on the 40 minute drive downtown to meet the newest member of our family.  

I found the hospital, drove up a couple floors in the parking garage, grabbed the infant carseat and headed toward the elevator.  The carseat must've given me away to the lady in the elevator and she asked if I was going to pick up my baby (it's a children's hospital) and I said yes but I told her I had no idea how to get to get NICU floor.  Which as I look back must have seemed odd because why would I be going to pick up a baby if I haven't been there before to visit that baby?  But thankfully she told me where to go.  I felt so weird getting up to the NICU floor and telling them I was there to pick up baby M but I didn't know his last name or anything else.  Thankfully his case worker got there shortly after and she took over :)

The actual discharge process took much longer than I anticipated.  I was on the phone for 45 minutes trying to get him registered and a newborn appointment since they won't discharge without an appointment with a pediatrician scheduled.  I asked his nurses lots of questions about his care, got to feed him once and then it was time to go!  And just like that I followed the case worker out of the hospital with this tiny 4 lb 11oz baby boy in my carseat.  And even though we've jumped through SO many hoops to get licensed, background checked and basically they know everything about us,  I still felt so weird that they just let me leave with him!  

We parted ways in the elevator as she got off on the floor where she parked and told me she would be back by our house in about an hour after she dropped off some paperwork, in order to do more paperwork with us :)  I then panicked a little as I realized I actually had no idea which floor of the parking garage I had parked on!  I was in la-la land when I got there, excited to meet our new baby that I didn't even take note of which floor I was one.  So then began the fun game of trying every floor except one (there were 10 stories, guys, this took forever!) and I finally found our van!  I even hit the panic button on my key fob and it didn't work through the cement floors!  And I kept praying that no one was noticing this lady with a baby who seems to have lost her car!  I was laughing at myself for the first 3 wrong floors and then got a little scared that maybe our van was stolen or that I was in the wrong parking garage and I was never going to find it!  I'm then thinking, they aren't going to let us keep M in our home if I can't even get him to our van because I can't keep track of it!  Come on, Marie! sheesh!  But I found it, took a deep sigh of relief and headed home, in rush hour traffic.  yay! 

Baby M slept peacefully the entire way home and until the case worker got to our house a couple hours later.  I fed him while we signed all the paperwork and braced myself for the "crazy first week" of foster care with a new placement.  Dr appointments, WIC appointment, 1 week visit from both his case worker and our support worker, and setting up visits with his mom and dad.  And that's how our story with M began...

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