Friday, September 20, 2013

Our first Foster Placement

We received our first "call" nine days after we received our license.  I was walking out of Costco and my cell phone rang. They told me they had a baby that was still in the hospital, and that she tested positive for crack cocaine. I really don't remember much of the call, all I could think was oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh. I do remember asking how old she was, to which they responded "she was born today"... That is when the second wave of oh my gosh, oh my gosh began. Right at the very end they threw in that she was African American, and asked if that was o.k.? Still to this day, I cant comprehend that we live in a society that there is a need to ask, "is that o.k.?"... I called my hubby and together we made the snap decision to bring home that baby. Thank goodness I had not left Costco, because I was suddenly in need of diapers and baby wipes.

It took two days before our baby came home. I nearly crawled out of my skin as the Social Worker drove up our driveway, to deliver our baby. She handed us a baby and a bag, and said we will hear from the childs' Social Worker in a day or two. Those words were no sooner out of her mouth and she was heading back to her car. My hubby and I must have had the 'deer in the headlights' expression because she quickly asked if we had any questions. Um, yes, like one million...  She stayed for about 10 minutes, in all due respect she did look exhausted. As soon as she left we went through  the bag which was filled with items that people had donated to the hospital. To this day it fills me with joy to think people purchase and or make things for little ones that they will never meet. If you ever get the chance to donate a bag or a baby blanket to a hospital, please do. 

JayJay 5 days old

Baby Jayjay was just under 5lbs at 2 days old. I can honestly say I had NEVER held a baby that small. We had to run out and purchase preemie clothes for her.

In retrospect I would say it took at least a year for her to be done with her "withdrawal" phase from her drug exposure. Which included high pitch crying, tight muscle tone, and poor feeding skills. The good thing for us, was that we had no other baby to compare her to. So, we figured all babies were like that. It wasn't until we had our second placement that we realized how difficult she had been.

The first two months everything seemed to be moving in a positive direction as far as her staying with us. Then we received the call, that as an Adoptive Foster parent, you do not want to receive. The courts have decided to place the baby back with her birth mom. Please don't get me wrong... I do believe in reunification, I do believe that there are a small handful of parents that can use this experience to turn their lives around. Unfortunately, most do not. So over the next three weeks we struggled, emotionally. The court did a gradual reunification. So the first week she left us for two nights, the second week she left us for three nights. It was during that second week that we received a call about a seven month old girl, I will post on that later. That third week, was really only two days for us to say goodbye to our daughter. Yes, at that point she was our daughter. That last day was the worst day of my life. I cried all day. My complete melt down began when I saw the Social Worker slowly pull up our driveway. I could not make eye contact with her. Not much was said, she told us she was sorry, but that we should feel good knowing that she would be in a "safe home". Well no, it did not make me feel better.

JayJay a few hours before she left our home
 I spent the next two days completely withdrawn, from life and family. Every time I would open my mouth to talk I would just end up sobbing, my husband was doing a bit better than I, but not much. We were grieving the loss of our child, and panicking about what evil may come her way.  As the days passed, I began to get my emotions under control. By the end of the third week my crying was maybe only once a day. By the fifth week I was maybe melting down once a week. By the seventh week I was coming to grips with the fact that maybe her birth mom would be able to handle life with a baby. Then on day 54 our phone rang and I heard the social workers voice. A voice I had not heard in weeks. She said there was an emergency and they have to remove JayJay, would we take her back. YES! I hung up the phone and sobbed...
The day JayJay came home

The next six months were very routine. I was diligent about getting JayJay all the help she needed with her feeding issues, and her muscle tone issues. We were approaching Christmas when the Social Worker explained to us that a Motion was filed to have JayJay placed with a relative. Oh heck no!!! I could not lose her again. You better believe I was at Court that day, sick to my stomach, but I was there. The Judge ruled that it was in the childs best interest to stay with us. Victory!

JayJay on adoption day

By the middle of January the birth mom and dad had relinquished their parental rights. A few months later she was legally ours.

My beautiful JayJay
I hope you have a wonderful weekend!


  1. Wow Meri!

    I had no idea that you and Evan went through so much. Your darling Jada is such a lucky little girl to have such caring parents. She got off to a rocky start but is thriving now.

    I want to thank you again for your willingness to be so open. I really think that is how we all learn from one another. Love, Aunt Linda

    1. I agree Aunt Linda, openness is how we learn. Sharing can also lead to healing. I broke down a few times typing this post. Here we are 3 years later and I still brake down and cry. xoxo

    2. This was beautiful Meri. Thanks for sharing..

  2. I am weepy from reading this and seeing the photos... it brought back so many memories of lil Jayjay coming into the family... oh the moment I held her in my arms the very first time... what joy. And now she is such a cutie,, hard to believe she is in pre-school.... Don't blink... before we know it she'll be graduating from High School! Oh My!

  3. Wow Meri, beautifully written. I love the happy ending, cannot imagine that sweet smart strong lovely little girl with anyone but you and Evan.


We Love Hearing From You!