Foster Care: 48 Hours into our First Placement

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Oh. My. Gosh. You Guys. I apologize in advance for what is undoubtedly verbal vomit. You’ll just have to bear with me. We received our first foster care placement 48 hours ago. Where do I even start?

I woke up on Tuesday with a horrible migraine that wasn’t going away, but I headed to the gym in hopes that it would help. I was in the middle of Googling “How long between getting licensed and receiving first foster placement” (seriously).  Our house had been open for nearly a week and our social worker made it seem like we would be getting calls right away, but…nothing. Radio silence. And as I was reading on various message boards, the phone rang. It was a local number that I didn’t recognize. It was South Carolina DSS’s Placement Department. They had a 5-year old boy needing a foster home, and he would be coming that night. I asked them as many of questions as I could possibly remember from a list I found, and told them I’d call them back after talking to AJ. It sounded like a good situation, and he agreed. We decided to accept the placement!

The gym went out the window and I headed to Wal-Mart right away. It was an emergency placement, so we needed to grab a booster seat, some clothes, and a few toys. I probably went overboard and just threw everything that seemed remotely necessary into the cart. Then, we waited. We were told it would be about an hour before he arrived, but it was more like 4 hours.

Our first foster placement walked through our door at about 9 pm. “Where’s the toys?” he said. “Can I see my bed?” He was not concerned with knowing our names, eating a snack, or seeing the house. He just wanted to know where the toys were. Easy enough! He was thrilled with the room and the toys and couldn’t believe the bedspread had dinosaurs on it. Looks like I chose wisely! After a quick conversation with the social worker, we played for a bit, then took a bath, read a book, and went to bed.

He popped right out of bed in the morning with a smile on his face, and AJ and I took him to school. The day was a whirlwind of paperwork and phone calls while still trying to get all my normal work done before picking him up from aftercare. We played Legos until AJ came home, and this was when I realized how much I a) suck at playing Legos and b) do not like Legos. We have a giant tub of Legos from AJ’s childhood, which is great, except that they are not at all organized and there are 10,000 of them. Add in a child who wants to build everything based on the books that are so helpfully included, and you basically have a nightmare that consists of spending hours searching for one tiny piece in a seemingly bottomless bin of tiny Legos. Obviously, our foster kiddo’s number one thing to play is…Legos.

But aside from his Lego affinity and my complete ineptitude (AJ is much better, of course, given his extensive experience), everything has been running quite smoothly. There is a lot of paperwork and many appointments to set up, but our placement himself has been wonderfully sweet and easygoing. He’s the quintessential 5 year old boy – tons of energy, lots of questions, lots of stories, and lots of silliness. He has definitely made us laugh a lot over the past 48 hours! When I put him to bed the first night, I told him I would come back and check on him in a few minutes. “Why?” he said, looking at me like I had two heads. Well, nevermind then!

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Taking a quick Lego break to play Sorry! (FYI – no identifying information or pictures of any of our foster kids’ faces will be posted on social media)

It’s a little funny to go from a very quiet house with a lot of free time to one with a busy 5-year old and basically no free time! He has been such an easygoing kid, but it’s obviously different than having just 2 adults in the house. Especially since we are still getting to know him, we feel like we need to interact with him all the time. It’s pretty tiring, to be honest! As we settle into a routine, everything will get easier, but we really couldn’t ask for a better first placement.

I didn’t sleep at all on Tuesday night thanks to my headache, but I got to bed at 9:30 on Wednesday and woke up at 5 on Thursday for a run! I almost couldn’t believe it myself. I made it home in time to wash and dry my hair, get the kiddo up and ready for school and out the door with the dog in tow. Kiddo made it to school on time, the dog made it to his bath on time (the two of them sat in the backseat together sharing snacks, by the way), and I made it into the office early. I honestly felt like Superwoman! AJ had pickup duty today, so I hit the gym after work before returning home to…play Legos, of course.

All in all, the first 48 hours have been a total whirlwind. Our placement is really about as easy and sweet as he could possibly be, and we are adjusting as best we can to being parents overnight. I will probably never watch TV again and I have no idea when I’m going to find time to blog, but…stay tuned. And follow me on Instagram, because 15 second videos for my Instagram stories are probably going to be the best I can do regularly for awhile!

23 thoughts on “Foster Care: 48 Hours into our First Placement

  1. OMG, I do not even know you and this made me tear up to read! I love that his first questions were about toys and his bed. It is hard to even imagine some of what these children have gone through to be within the foster care system. Giving them love and stability (I would imagine) is the best thing you can do for them. Best of luck to you and AJ as you continue this journey!

    1. That’s so sweet, Aimee! Thank you. We are doing our best to make this tough time in his life as easy as possible.

  2. I’m so excited for you and AJ! Welcome to parenthood!! It’s a bit overwhelming at first when you realize you are totally responsible for this little person. Sounds like you guys are doing great though! It will get easier and more natural after a week or so.
    For some reason I thought you might get a girl first but I think it’s awesome it’s a boy. Not that I think they are easier than girls, but you know I’m kind of partial to boys.

    1. Yes, definitely a little overwhelming! But overall, I think it is going as well as it possibly could be. It’s a big change for sure!

      I thought we would get a girl first also. No way to predict, though!

  3. You have learned what every parent eventually does – Legos are the devil’s plaything. Seriously. I absolutely hate legos (for all the reasons you mentioned) and, if you ever step on one…known as “Lego foot” you will hate them even more. Besides, that – WOW. So amazing and so happy you have a sweet, easy going little boy who doesn’t need to be checked on more than once 🙂 Enjoy your time with him! He is a lucky little boy.

    1. Oh yes, I stepped on my first one yesterday while trying to clean them up. I’m probably going to set them all on fire. I bet they are all over your house!

    1. You’re so sweet, thank you! Yes, definitely 0-60. Obviously, everyone becomes a parent overnight, but not everyone becomes the parent of a 5 year old overnight. Quite the adjustment, haha!

  4. What you and AJ are doing is all kinds of wonderful. He is very lucky to have you guys in his life. And you, in turn, will feel lucky to have him.

    I’m glad that everything is working out so well right now.

  5. Such a wonderful 48 hours! As a fellow lego hater, I can tell you what helped me. The ikea Trofast system with the shallow bins. One drawer for each color (or a pair of colors- I do contrasting like orange and blue), a drawer for wheels and other special items, a drawer for books and a drawer for people. It makes finding pieces SO much easier.

  6. I am so happy for you guys and just love following along on Instagram, and wanted to come back and comment here as well. It all seems so awesome and that this is a great fit for both sides, which makes it even better!

    It is funny getting a child at 5 without already having had kids, because it drops you at a point in the development process without having been part of the rest of it. Lisa and I were talking , and it is like as birth parents you are like the analogy of the lobster in the pot that is heating up, whereas you and AJ and tossed right into the boiling water!

    LEGOS are a great toy, because they encourage non-linear thinking, creativity, problem-solving and encourage you to use what you build in stories, and therefore build to play. Oh, and they are also really good at destroying your feet in the middle of the night (no matter how hard you try to clean them up, a few always seem to find their way to the floor …)

    And we were laughing about the whole KidsBop thing … As I noted we’ve been in that since the first album, and it has never NOT been weird. I mean, sure you can tweak Britney or Nsync … but Hollaback Girl? That stuff is bananas, alright! Haha

    Congrats again and keep on posting!

    1. Hahaha being tossed right into the boiling water is exactly right! That is definitely how it feels sometimes. We are learning as we go, though, and we’re lucky to have a placement who is making it relatively easy on us. I am dying laughing (and screaming in horror) at the thought of the KidzBop version of Hollaback Girl. Just…no.

  7. I’m sure you are super busy, but would you be willing to share some advice about licensing and visits? I could email, too, of course!

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