I think I will call him Baby J—for January. I feel hesitant sharing even a first initial for this little one. Pictures and stories will be more guarded. We have not been able to establish a connection with the birth family and are not sure what this boy’s story will look like from here.
I received the call while at work—running in between patients’ rooms. (I don’t usually answer, but when it’s that number….). I scribbled on the back of my patient schedule as they passed on the information they had available:
“Boy. — months. Unsafe home situation. Needs placement now. From — county. Oh, and he’s white.”
That’s about all we got! (OK, there were a couple other details that I can’t list. But not much.) The location was a bit further than we had hoped. But that likely means there was no foster home for this child any closer to his family. So I called Parker. We prayed and made a decision in the same moment. Very un-Presbyterian.
I told Parker they are willing to keep him for a few hours till we get off work—I couldn’t leave. Parker replied, “If this is going to be our boy, then I’m going to get him. He doesn’t need to be in an unstable environment any longer.”
I do love that man.
I called the foster agency, accepted the placement, and had them direct all further calls to Parker for the day. Then I went back to my world of pain and addiction medicine. The two are grievously connected.
Parker biked home to brief the kids. Our baby-sitter started vacuuming and pulling out baby gear—and agreed to stay longer to help mitigate the chaos (Shout out to Margie!). Poor Gabriel was sleeping (so much for the transition plan). He got less than ten semi-conscious minutes to process before the knock came.
Two hours from the initial call, DFCS was at the door. (And the drive was at least an hour.)
I ran out to get formula after work, we had a quick visit with our case manager, and got all four fed and to bed. Then, in a dichotomous twist, Parker and I went out to enjoy a quiet dinner to celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary. (Shout out to Margie again!)
Our older three (my sister doesn’t like me calling them “the bios”…) love Baby J. He laughs and crawls and eats food (and duplos too)—and he is much harder to smash. I am, indeed, thankful for that! And so we are six.
(As a belated anniversary gift, Parker went to the WIC office with Baby J. Even though he initially protested, “I’m not a woman!” Priceless.)