We finished the classwork in March of 2020, just when visits to homes came to a veritable halt. Our home required some adjustments in order to comply with the county's safety standards, so we took our time. We put foster parenting on the back burner. One thing was for sure: nothing was going to happen soon.
We put our hands to our new home. Since we had to make adjustments, we might as well dive in and get creative. In September of 2020, I decided to start Bright Spot as a class in entrepreneurship for Juliet's sixth-grade elective. We also needed to find some erosion solutions for our yard, so why not study landscape design and seed propagation, bulb transplanting and cut flower gardening?
In the middle of all of that glorious learning, we did not even think about getting a placement. You see, we were only interested in receiving a child between the ages of 0-2. Our home doesn’t have any extra bedrooms, so it is that age that is permitted to share our main bedroom with us. We were told they next-to-never get calls on babies. We were okay with that. We felt peace knowing we were available for what we were comfortable with.
We got one call in mid/late July on a little boy, but the judge allowed him to go live with an aunt. Good news! I kind of knew he wasn’t coming to live with us. The majority of things provided to us from our community were pink, and when I started getting the impression that a baby was headed our way, I knew it would be a girl.
On August 16th, we got another call. A call that a little baby girl might need a home for a while. She was a premature nearly 3-month old. Again, we wouldn’t know if she would come to live with us until the next day when the judge would decide where she would live. It was still a hazy possibility; we just had a little practice a few weeks earlier with the first little boy.
The next morning though, August 17th, things got a little thick. A friend came over who happened to have an infant car seat, an extra pack n’ play, and a rocker she needed to rehome, and delivered these items in what we both sensed as a necessary and imminent preparation. She installed the car seat and set up the rocker in time for us to look at each other, pause, and acknowledge the winds were about to change. We wouldn’t have to wait much longer to know this was true. Just before 2pm that very day, an unfamiliar number called and the voice of an unfamiliar social worker informed us that she was on her way to our house with little baby Evie. We went a little numb, lost our hearing and any sense of our legs. Walking around aimlessly and nervously, we wondered what on earth was about to happen.
They arrived and our family went outside to meet her with a flurry of questions about to be answered. What did she look like? How big is she? Is she cute? Is she likable? Will she sleep? Do we really want to do this? Can we change our minds? Will she come with clothes? Does she have Covid-19?
It turns out, she is as cute as a button, she came with only the outfit she was wearing and a toy her mom wanted her to have, she barely weighed 11 pounds soaking wet, she didn’t react to us at all, she slept through the night the first few nights and not since, she was healthy and did not have Covid-19.
Needless to say, the transition into life with an infant again is going as you might imagine. It comes with great sacrifice, but also great reward. Evie came to us having had very little stimulation, and let me tell you, we have made up for that with her in our home. She has come alive and is being given 5-star treatment while in our care. Music, pets, people, toys, nature, activity- our home is like the best baby amusement park in existence! We don’t know how long she will be with us. Our best guess is until the summer.
Being a foster parent for an infant is its own full-time job. Doctors’ appointments, physical therapy appointments, family visits, DSS visits, special advocate visits, and court dates keep no grass growing under our metaphorical feet. This is in addition to just everyday life with an infant. We are really close to being in a routine now that all of the transitory requirements have been met to establish her care.
Going into this world of foster care, we wanted to give Isaac and Juliet a taste of what it looks like to live a life of servanthood in a more all-consuming way. Mission accomplished. Even more, they are able to see what it looks like to care for an infant, to see what it takes when the time will come for them, should the Lord will. That is a gift we didn’t anticipate that we are thankful for. Isaac has asked us “How did you do it [raise babies]?”
By the grace of God, kid.
Bright Spot has had to adapt with the shift in our family's availability and stamina. Juliet's school schedule does not allow for too much involvement now that she has moved up a grade. I do always like to have her creative opinion at times. We have paused our subscriptions, but we are working holidays and events in 2022 on a limited basis. Next holiday: Valentine's Day! Get your orders in soon. Flowers are limited!
Hopefully soon I will be able to update you on: erosion solutions, landscape design, seed propagation, bulb transplanting and cut flower gardening. Until then, cheers!