I had a really unique experience last night, that has kind of left me rattled. Our very first call for what I thought was going to be our daughter, happened in one of the biggest snow storms in early February of this year. A newborn baby needed a home, and of course we said yes. I called my family and friends, and let them know she was coming! I got the call around 11am that morning, and by 1pm I had a baby sitter for the other kids, and went to meet her at the hospital where she would be staying for a few days due to the circumstances of her birth. I was so excited to meet our new daughter. The girls were so excited to have a new baby sister. I remember sitting in the hospital parking lot and snapping a picture of my Starbucks coffee that my friend had picked up for me on her way over to babysit. I remember thinking this is a life changing day, this is the day I get to meet my baby girl that we had been praying about for the past year. You see I did a little research on this baby girl, because her birth was actually a news story covered by many media outlets in the area. I found her bio family on facebook and from what I saw, it looked pretty certain that this case was going to go the adoption route. I was so excited, this is exactly what we had been praying for. As I walked into the hospital and introduced myself to the nurses in the nursery, I was so nervous. Butterflies filled my belly. After waiting for 15 minutes, and speaking with the social worker they wheeled her out in her hospital crib attached to an IV bag. The nurses left me alone, and I just gazed at her. A little nervous to pick up this fragile little baby. When I reached in to pick her tiny little body up, and cradle her in my arms, a tear fell down my cheek. This was happiness, this was my daughter. I sat down and rocked her back and forth, and just started at her. My heart exploded with joy. It is a really unique thing to meet your foster/adoptive child for the first time. All the emotions that I had when I birthed my daughters, and saw their face for the first time plus so many more complicated emotions that are really too hard to put into words. After about an hour and a half I had to get home for my kids, and was planning on coming back with my husband in a couple of hours. When I got home there was an email from my worker saying to hold off on going to the hospital, as the plan for baby b might be changing. As soon as I read it my heart dropped. I didn’t know what it meant but I knew it wasn’t good. I had to wait until 11 am the next day when they called me to say that another foster mom who had her biological brothers wanted to take her. I still don’t know what happened, and why I was called in the first place, an oversight or maybe this foster home was closed at the time. There is still unanswered questions regarding that. I remember just saying OK, and my eyes filled with tears as my heart broke. I was so sad. It brought back similar feelings from when I had my miscarriage… so close to the dream of a child only to be snatched away just as quickly. She wan mine for such a fleeting moment and then…gone.
Well last night as I attended a foster parent support group, and we went around the table explaining our current foster situations, one lady who hadn’t met before had a 4 month old baby with her and was telling us how she has 3 adopted kids at home. I asked her if her kids were siblings, and her answer was “yes, actually I think you were supposed to have my baby” I instantly knew what she was talking about. I told her how nice it was to know who she was and asked how baby was doing. She told me she as doing well, and told me her new name and then showed me a picture at the end of the group. The most beautiful 10 month old baby girl. Even though I know she is where she is meant to be it was still hard. She is with her brothers and has a mom who loves her fiercely, but the other part of me couldn’t help but to be jealous, and sad. She adopted her at 8 months old which is incredibly rare in the foster care world. It just made me think if it had worked out that I was the one who was able to be her mom, we wouldn’t of had 6 kiddos in our home this year, and have had to say 4 heartbreaking goodbyes. Obviously that wasn’t meant to be her story or mine but it was still difficult information to process. I am so happy that I got to meet her mom and know where she ended up, and that she is in a stable loving permanent home. I still don’t know how her mom knew about me, but this is my monthly support group, so I hope to have the opportunity to ask her next time, and maybe even get to see that beautiful baby again one day. The beauty and the brokenness of foster care.