I decided that I wanted to do foster care. I was adamant that I was only going to do foster care to give kids a safe place to live until the courts figure out what to do with their cases. I started the process by contacting Children's Service Society about getting licensed as a foster parent. I went to all of my classes and was licensed.
I sat down with my placement specialist and went over what age child I wanted, what I was willing to deal with, any illnesses I thought I could handle, etc. One day later I got a call about a little boy that was going to be put into my care. I went and got him a few days later for a pre-placement visit. All went well. Then, a few days after that, I was told his parents did everything they were supposed to do and he was going home. Well, there I sat confused and nervous.
A day later I got a call that there was a little boy that had been in temporary foster care for almost two months. (They are only supposed to be there 30 days). They needed somewhere for him to go. I was on my way back from a business trip in Indianapolis and my coworker was in the car with me. I was so nervous and the guy had to hear me go on and on about it the rest of the way home.
I was told that the case worker would bring him by a few days later for a pre-placement visit. That day was a long day at work. I was just nervous and excited all at once. I got home from work, and I think I even made him dinner. (I can't remember for sure). The bell rang. My heart dropped to my feet. I went to the door and here comes this handsome little two year old boy and the caseworker. He didn't say anything. He just looked around and took everything in.
We played for a little bit and I did get a smile, but that was about it. I was in love with this little boy. I could not wait to see him again! I was told that I could call his temporary foster mom about setting up his next visit. I called the next day. She said that since she knew he was going that it she felt it would be easier if he just went sooner than later rather than to drag it out. We planned on that Saturday at 9 am. I was to go pick him up at his temporary foster home. I called his case worker and it was all through the courts, they were just changing placement date to Saturday. 5/9/09...one day before mother's day.
I called the daycare to let them know of his start date, requested copies of all of the legal papers, got "kids" food in the house, bought diapers, etc. I was as ready as I would ever be!
Saturday morning, I went and picked him up. I walked up to the door and he was standing at the screen door smiling at me. When I opened the door, he put his arms out for me to pick him up. I did, and he rested his head on my shoulder. Now remember, he had only met me once before this!
We got his things in the car, which consisted of a garbage bag full of balls, a few toys, a mix matched set of pj's, one spare pair of pants, a few shirts and a bag of candy. He said goodbye to his temporary foster home and we were off. It was so quiet in the car. I decided, I bet I know what will work. I asked if he wanted McDonald's? He shook his head yes. So, off to McDonald's we went!
When we got home, he ran right to his room, which he knew from his one pre-placement visit. I noticed that his hair had some issues. It was in braids and they were matted to the back of his head and when I looked closer his scalp was scabbed. I took the braids out with a needle, because they were that tight. Off to get a haircut we went! He just sat there quietly while they cut his hair. They gave me cream to rub into his scalp to repair the damage. On the way home, I turned around and smiled at him at a stop light. He said "Mama". I thought he was talking about his previous foster mom. Nope. He put his hands out to me and said it again. I turned around a cried a bit. I couldn't imagine how scared, confused, lost, etc he was.
Then, we went home for lunch and a nap. He ate next to nothing, which I would later figure out is his norm. put him down for nap, and showed him that I would be right out in the other room and he can come get me if he needs me. He laid down and went right to sleep.
When he got up, I took him to the store to get some clothes and some other things that he needed. I also took him to the toy department. I told him he could get whatever toy he wanted. He pointed at the $1 bouncy ball. LOL. He was so happy with that ball!
We went home, had dinner, and I put him down for bed. I sat by the baby monitor listening to any breath, whimper, etc at all. Nothing. Was he scared? Was he ok? I went in to check on him, and he was out! I sat down on the couch to think about how much my life had changed that morning for the rest of my life. I became a mother of a toddler in a matter of hours. I am single. Can I do this on my own?