It felt strange, taking so many pictures of this newborn that was not mine. Of course it was appropriate and important, as the pictures I took would be the ones of this stage of her life. But at the same time, I felt like I should not be the one with this role. And it honestly did not come naturally, as I was still bonding with her, and I couldn't look forward to sharing the pictures I took with my family and friends. Instead, I handed prints off to parents who may or may not say thank you. I did my best, and we gave her grandma a photo book and CD of the pictures, plus we kept a copy of the photo book. Those photo books have been wonderful for my biological kids to remember and talk about foster children who have been in our home, and those who have received the books as children have moved have been grateful.
But what I did not realize is how much I would treasure the few video clips I had.
I love little videos of my biological kids when they were younger, reminding me of their antics and how they have changed. I sometimes try to interrupt tantrums by taking a video of them, which doesn't always work but provides pretty funny videos for later viewing. But for foster children, I have grasped to these videos like nothing else. There is something about the sound and action that helps reassure me: this was all real. You loved this child with all your heart as he lived in your home, living and breathing. Your house had this little person in it, with all her personality. You can see him in your home. You can see her in your arms, looking around, looking at you.
The photos may be the most important for the child and others, but one lesson I've learned is that the videos are very precious to me, and to take lots of them. Even just sitting and waiting for to pick up Dinosaur has been a good time for it.