Just a little bit ago, a fellow blogger posted about siblings and foster care and it inspired me to share a story of something that happened to us not too long ago.
If you’ve followed this blog at all (or checked out my family page), you know that we have three boys. Rick had two and I had one when we first met. We’ve talked before about whether or not we’d want to have a baby together. Rick is such a wonderful husband – he’s the kind of man who you justknow would be wonderful during pregnancy. It would be nothing like before. I wouldn’t be going to doctors alone. There’s no way he’d leave me alone the night our baby was born. He wouldn’t leave me to find my own rides to the NICU. He’d definitely rub my swollen feet. In short, he’d do all the things I wish my ex had…and none of the things I wish he hadn’t done. And we’d make a super cute baby – dark wavy hair, green eyes…
But the reality is that we have three kids! And one of those kids has special needs. It would be nearly impossible to handle a baby. We decided that we would take measures to insure we didn’t have any more kiddos…but at the same time, if it was ever to happen, we would make it work.
Last year – I can’t recall exactly when, but I want to say early fall – Rick got a call from CPS on a Friday morning. He called me and texted me at work – said he needed me to call him as soon as I could.
Ryan’s mother had another baby. He was 2 months old and in the hospital recovering from methadone addiction. CPS wanted to know if we’d be willing to foster and eventually adopt him.
I just started crying. I wasn’t even sure why. Rick started crying, too. What were we going to do? What could we say? This was Ryan’s blood – how could we turn him away? What if he wound up in a bad situation because we didn’t say yes? How could we live with that?
But we have THREE KIDS already! Our house is pretty damn full. Our lives are already chaotic. We both work full-time. How could we do this? Rick said, “I keep thinking the same things… but then I think, if you were pregnant, we’d find a way to make this work.” We were both so torn. We told the CPS agent that we needed her to give us the weekend to talk this over.
After a lot of talking and crying, we decided we couldn’t take him. Rick called CPS on Monday to let them know.
We found out that the 2nd call they made on Friday was to the couple that adopted Ryan’s older sisters many years ago. They had taken the baby for the weekend while we thought things over! They also agreed to foster him until a decision was made on whether or not he could be adopted by another family.
What a relief. If he couldn’t be with his brother, at least he was with his sisters!
We also found out that the baby’s mother was fighting this time. To my knowledge, she never really fought before. And this time, she won. Little baby J is back with his mother. That’s something I could not have handled. How could we have explained that to Ryan? “Your mother gave up you and your sisters, but she fought to get your brother back.” How much damage would that do? I’m sure it hurt his sisters as well, but at least they’re a little older and they might be able to understand the situation better. Ryan couldn’t have gone through that without getting scarred.
I couldn’t have, either!
I’m happy with our little family. Our youngest will be 6 in September, so I just keep telling myself that means I’ll only be in my 40s when all the kids are out of the house! (Of course, I realize Colin may always have to live with us. Let me have my fantasy for a minute!) Rick and I will be able to enjoy some crazy middle-aged years together alone since we didn’t spend our crazy 20s together. If we were to start over now, I’d be in my 50s before that time came. Rick would be in his 60s!
I’ll keep the level of crazy and happy we already have and focus on the future – for us and our boys.