Four days ago we got a call from a DCS case worker. She was on her way to our house with a six month old baby boy and his nine year old brother who has special needs. She told me she had all of their things packed up in her car and would need help unpacking everything. I was home alone with our ten year old foster son and two huge, loud, energetic dogs since my husband was still at work, and it was raining outside. Hard. We had a few weeks notice for this placement and already had a crib, rock n play, and car seat. We just didn’t know when they would come and the date kept getting pushed back because of paperwork issues. Eventually there was a knock on the door and a soaking wet case worker handed me a smiling baby wrapped in a blanket. She ran back out to the car to open the door for the nine year old boy and to grab the diaper bag.
Thankfully my husband came home early from work and was able to keep the dogs entertained while the big kids and I helped the case worker unpack her car. The kids came with a few boxes of clothes and toys, a baby swing, a bouncy seat, formula, bottles, and some diapers. I was happy to see their things were packed well in the boxes instead of thrown into garbage bags which I’ve seen too many times before. The case worker stayed for about fifteen minutes to have me sign some papers and try to answer some initial questions.
Questions she could answer: What are their birthdays? What is the nine year olds’ disability? Does he have a therapies? Do they have any allergies? What days and times do they have visitation?
Questions she could not answer: How much formula and how often does the baby eat? Has he started any solids yet and if so, which ones? What is the baby’s sleep schedule like? Is the nine year old toilet trained? What does he like to eat? How long will the kids be staying with us?
So, everything has basically been trial and error from the beginning. We haven’t had a baby here before and it’s just as wonderful and exhausting as everyone says it is. He sleeps most of the night and eats every few hours. The nine year old was testing limits right away and had a tantrum within the first half hour of Day 1, but he has since realized that tantrums don’t work here and had been much better since. We took a trip to Target, went to a picnic, spent the day at a pool party yesterday, and went to church and grocery shopping today. It’s been a whirlwind few days, but the kids are settling in and we are ready for this new adventure with them, for as long as it may be.