I was up doing a middle of the night feeding with my daughter, which was nothing new but my mind was racing. I was talking to God about foster care, questions and what-ifs just spilling out. Part of me was glad it was still on my mind, I had this fear that once we had our baby it might be easy to slip into a comfortable routine and just keep putting it off, or even change our mind altogether. But that still didn't make it any easier. Wouldn't everyone think we were crazy?? We have a semi-high maintenance (call it fussy, gassy, colic-whatever! She's been tough folks) infant who is only a few months old. Plus Sam is military, he still does short deployments, we are so far away from all our family...we live in a small apartment...we have no idea what kind of child we will get or what needs they will have. Will that really be good for Eleanor? We don't really even know what we are doing as parents yet. Yeah we should wait...right God??
Sam pretty much told me whenever I was ready he was on board. We were so in love with our baby girl, she was our world and those first few months of becoming a family were SO sweet (fussiness and lack of sleep and all!). I'm thankful we didn't jump in sooner, because God knew we needed that time to rest and bond. We knew our hearts would only grow from here with the capacity to love more children. Still I wrestled with the decision so much. I couldn't let it go, yet I also couldn't get myself to jump in and go for it. When Eleanor turned 3 months and I felt like I had gotten through the hormonal rollercoaster giving birth puts you through, I actually felt a lot of peace. It didn't make much sense, but Sam and I both felt so strongly like we were simply supposed to do this. I ended up getting a phone call out of the blue about taking a placement when Sam was on a two week deployment...and no, I didn't accept I'm not THAT crazy! Haha. But it gave me the push I needed to call and put our name on the list when he got back. It was terrifying. Not even a few hours went by before we started getting those nerve wracking phone calls. We said no to a few, because we wanted to be sensitive to the fact that we do have a baby and certain cases just wouldn't work for us right now, as hard as it is to ever say no. We really needed this decision to be led by the Lord. A few days later they asked if we would be open to an almost-6 month old boy who was being disrupted from another foster home. We asked a bunch of questions, prayed together and called back minutes later with a timid Yes. We were set up for babies right now and we had said we would prefer under 1 years old, seemed like a good fit. He would be here in the morning.
The emotions you feel leading up to the arrival are unreal. I was so scared, yet so excited I just couldn't sit still. I'm about to be a Mom of two. We cleaned the apartment like 3 times (since ya know, 6 month olds are really impressed by my throw pillows being fluffed and the mirrors being shiny), got a few last minute baby items from our church friends and waited. I'll never forget going outside to meet the case manager and seeing this little curly haired baby grinning at me, snotty nose and all. She handed him straight to me and it just seemed surreal. I felt like she gave me no information, which isn't exactly true but it was extremely minimal! She just handed me a baby and a small bag and it was like "any questions?". Ummm yes like a thousand. But this is foster care and I knew that. However there is such a difference between knowing something and then actually living it. She was gone in a flash and we just stared at this little dude, wondering so many things, but knowing it was now our job to learn him. He was ours right now to love and care for, no matter how long he was with us. We had TWO BABIES. Was this real life? Sam and I just kept looking at each other and laughing, because there really weren't words yet. He had to go to work in a few hours and it was just going to be me here. Next time I will have him take the day off for sure, but we are newbies so this is all good practice for the future. I had to just remind myself to breathe and pray short prayers that day. I decided to take them on a walk, him in the stroller and her in a wrap strapped to me. The fresh air and sunshine felt so good and they both seemed pretty happy so it was a win-win. This lady looked at me funny from her balcony and called out "Are they twins??" This was my first day and I didn't know what to say really. I replied "No...but it feels like twins!" with a laugh and she just looked even more confused. They were two months apart and both under 6 months...it hit me like a ton of bricks. I basically have twins. I'm insane. But at the same time I couldn't deny this is exactly where I was supposed to be.