November 22, 2014 by multiracialsky
8:35 last night, my phone rings. The toddler has been asleep for half an hour; some of the older kids are reading in their rooms. I am streaming the latest episode of ‘Parenthood’. J has just walked across the street to check on when one of the older kids is coming home. I assume the phone call is him. I pick up my phone and it says ‘No Caller ID’. In my world, this means a social worker. It is. She tells me there is a baby, x months old, about to come into state custody. She sees that our family’s name is on her emergency foster care call list. I don’t really think about my answer: J is across the street; emergency means short term (usually). I say yes. I say, sure, we can do that. We have an extra crib already set up; two kiddos moved on from our home just 10 days ago. She pauses for a minute. Her job is to call unsuspecting people on nights and weekends and find foster homes for kids in crisis. As in this case, she has almost no information about the child; they usually arrive with the outfit of clothing they are wearing and no more. She says, well that was the easiest call I’ve made all day!
It’s 12 hours later. I have 2 kids at hockey, 1 toddler
harassing playing with the dog and climbing on the coffee table (again!), and 2 big kids rattling agitated around the house, waiting for the new baby to wake up. They want to wake the baby! They want to peek in and just look—they’ll be sooo quiet mom, I promise! We are waiting, I tell them for the twentieth time. The baby went to bed at 11:00. The baby had a big day yesterday. If the baby is still sleeping, that means the baby is tired. They will each get plenty of time with the baby.
I’ve pulled clothes from the basement, recalled a carseat loaned to a friend, and I’m starting to catalog what this will mean, what I will need to do to prepare, if this little one stays through Thanksgiving.
Last night, J comes back across the street and finds me on the phone, I mouth, ‘We’re getting a baby.’ His eyes get big. I am off a minute later. “I go across the street for FIVE minutes, and I come back and we have another baby!” A lot simpler and faster than labor. I just said, Yes.