Thursday, June 25, 2015
Between placement call and arrival
Crocodile is a busy boy. He is sleeping better, but the days are tiring. I'm trying to keep them simple, but they're still just full of "We don't climb on that" "Wait, where did you go?" "This is your plate. This Rhinoceros's plate." These early days are full of teaching how we do things here, and of course I have no idea what is brand new and what is known but pushing boundaries. And really, he is such a sweetie, just FULL of energy and he is EVERYWHERE.
It feels like such a long time such his placement call already, a crazy fast-paced night.
You get a call for a child, you're chosen for placement, you get the child. Seems straightforward, right? Yet every placement has been quite different for us.
Pterodactyl: We get the call, but it's not certain she'll need a foster family, as there is a possible relative placement. We say yes if we're needed. She's a newborn and discharge is expected the next day. Next morning, we get the call that yes, we are needed as a foster family. I meet her at the hospital and she's discharged into our care.
Beetle: We get the call. We're chosen for placement. But he's a newborn in the NICU and still has several days before discharge. We meet him at the hospital and eventually he's discharged into our care.
Caterpillar: We get the call at 3:30 pm. We say yes, and soon get a call back that we're chosen for placement and CPS will call us when he's on the way. But then we hear nothing. Our agency closes. We go to bed. 11:00 pm, we get a call that they're on their way. He arrives asleep in his car seat. We have some medical questions and the two tired CPS workers have to hang around awhile, calling around to mom, to the hospital. Eventually they leave sometime after midnight and call us back when they hear from the hospital.
Cricket: I get the call late morning I think, I don't remember exactly. We say yes, and soon get a call back that we're chosen for placement. She was removed the night before and is at a shelter. I still don't know why they didn't call us when she was removed; I asked recently and got no answer. I had a work meeting and asked if I could pick her up afterward since she was at the shelter, and that was fine. I met an agency worker there, a few things were signed, and we were on our way.
Crocodile: B gets the call around 6:40, and I find out around 7:15 when I get home. After Caterpillar's placement took so long, I start "nesting" and cleaning up a bit, but I'm thinking we'll probably go to bed still waiting. Then by 8:30 a CPS worker calls to say she is in our driveway and wasn't sure if we were home. I'm totally caught off-guard by this, thinking we'd have a few minutes to prepare that yes, Crocodile was on his way. Crocodile was a bit scared and quite reluctant about coming to us. It just crushes you to see a small little boy backing away from you, knowing the hurt he's going through. We slowly got him settled with a show and a snack after a few attempts. Maybe the CPS worker didn't want to drag things out so that he'd settle better with us, or maybe she was tired and just wanted to be done for the day, but she definitely didn't give us a chance to ask questions. I'd hoped to give her our Google Voice number to pass on to his mom, but by the time I thought of it, she was out the door.
So, it was a whirlwind. And then, as usual, a weird lag time. After 3 days, we had a home visit with his caseworker, still with little information. No contact with mom, no visit schedule yet. Just us, adjusting at home, having to learn about this kiddo as we go.