The 13th Boy at the Party – Our First Foster Placement

Friday May 30th 

Twelve very rambunctious and excitable 12-year old boys run around my backyard with Nerf guns, footballs and frisbees. Water fights are breaking out at both hoses on either side of the house in celebration of Techno’s upcoming birthday. My A-1 babysitter, Twinkle Toes, left for a sleepover at one of her besties’ house. And my little wrecking ball on the verge of age two is wreaking havoc wherever she goes.

The phone rings around six o’clock. And by 8:15 we have our 13th party guest. An eight-month old little dreamboat who needs a place to stay for the weekend is being handed to us in the driveway with my son’s friends looking on in amazement and wonder.

Just the day before I had lamented to friends.

Why haven’t they called us yet?

We were licensed to be foster parents the second week in May. And I knew the demand was high.

Ask and you shall receive.

We knew it was probably temporary. We probably couldn’t keep him for long.

After the festivities were over and the last child was picked up from the party, I found myself on the way to the store to buy formula, diapers and baby food at 10 o’clock at night.

We had him for one week. He crawled in our hearts and under our skin right away. The smell of my entire house changed instantly. His baby smell was in almost every room. In that one week I was amazed at how much we learned about him – his quirks and delights. His learning and our growing.

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Friday June 6th 

The case worker came to take him to his more long-term foster home. He was so kind to do everything slowly. He knew it was hard.

We sent him with clothes he wore of my son’s that I had saved.  I especially loved how he looked in the Cookie Monster overalls.

I wanted to buckle him into his car seat myself and make sure I was able to see his beautiful dark brown eyes and say goodbye. Strange as it may sound, I didn’t want any remnants of his clothes or food or baby supplies here. Just thinking about it made me know it would be even harder for me later.

But the bear my son wanted to give him was left behind. I had made sure to place it among his things that morning. I knew Techno really wanted him to have it. But they played with it that morning and it never made it back into the pile.  So I called the case worker to ask how I could get it to him. He assured me he could get it that day and make sure it traveled with him to his new home.

I found something else before he came to retrieve the bear. But I never gave it back. That little guy outgrew it long before he got here. It smelled like him. And Techno has a nose like a wolf. I knew he would love it.

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Just last week he came and asked me to smell it.

Heaven. Truly.

 

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4 thoughts on “The 13th Boy at the Party – Our First Foster Placement

  1. My heart hurts after having read this. And I know I will be thinking about it for a long time. Maybe even always. I don’t know how you do it. You’re incredible… Truly. A saint.

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