Foster Care: 48 Hours into our First Placement

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!

img_2906-1024x768-1-2 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!