If you’ve spent any time around here you probably know that when I go silent big things are afoot. This is no exception. Less than a month after my last post we received a phone call from our social worker asking if we’d be willing to foster a newborn due around the first of the year. We’d had to turn down several calls in the fall (it’s hard to have a 15 month old and exposed sub-flooring, at least according to Brian.) and knew that fostering a newborn would be our smartest bet until we get B3’s “big boy room” done and the nursery set back up. We were glad to have a few weeks’ advance notice and got busy getting ready. We were told to expect a good sized baby boy who most likely “wouldn’t be healthy”. That’s all we knew past a delivery date.
The day after New Year’s my wonderful Little Bro and Sweet Lizzy had my awesome new niece, who still needs an undercover name. She’s amazing, guys. It’s so cool to look at a little person who looks familiar. She’s such a good mix of the two of them, and then there are things that I see that are such “Hill things”. Or my pointy ear, inherited from my Grandma Bowman :) Holding her on January 3rd it was amazing to think that her cousin would be joining us within the week.
On Tuesday, the day after the baby was delivered, I was called to go downtown to sign some papers in preparation for his homecoming on Friday. I called Mama to come watch B3 and the Munchkin Coalition, and prepared to head to DSS. On the way out the door my social worker called back and said to come to the hospital….the baby was ready to be released. It was at least 2-3 days earlier than we expected, but luckily we had a bassinet and car seat ready, and all the clothes and diapers washed up and ready to go. I had taken my Christmas tree down that morning, and there were literal piles of fake tree needles all over the front room. Thank goodness my mother can wield a broom with the best of them. She had everything in order before I got home.
Picking the little guy up from the hospital was surreal. Brian was en route to Staunton to work for the afternoon and couldn’t make it back. The baby was (is) absolutely beautiful, completely healthy, and just generally perfect. There was tons of paperwork, inf0rmation from doctors and nurses, and the pervading sense of worry for his mom a few rooms over. She didn’t know me, and I didn’t know her. My heart broke for her and the happiness of meeting a new little person was tempered with the knowledge that his mother was suddenly without her baby. They made me ride in a wheelchair to the front door (which you can imagine just thrilled the tar out of me. /sarcasm) surrounded by a team of social workers. Loading the baby into the car seat I was stopped by security and detained for a while. I’m glad they were taking precautions but when you have 4 folks from CPS and DSS with you, you don’t expect problems.
Since then the past four months have been a whirlwind of readjusting schedules, learning how to be a mom of two, discovering that four hours of sleep has a very particular feel to it, and getting to know an amazing little person. From the very first day his nickname has been Turtle, so that’s how he’ll be known online. I can’t post any pictures or any details at all, but guys….he’s amazing! He was just under 10 pounds at birth, is rocking 6-9 month clothes already, sleeps through the night (and half the morning), and is rolling over like a champ. From his fuzzy little head to his incredibly big feet, lovely blue eyes and oh my word those cheeks, we’re in love. B3 has taken to being a big brother again with ease and is definitely Turtle’s favorite person on earth. He’s the easiest baby I’ve ever cared for and so far each day is a great adventure.
At this point we don’t know what lies ahead. We do have a great relationship with his birth mother, and see her for visits on a regular basis. For the past few months it’s almost been like co-parenting, and she’s wonderfully easy to work with. If he returns home to her we’ll hopefully maintain a very open relationship with her, and if he ends up being adopted we’ll definitely include her in our family as much as she’s comfortable. We’re in love, we’re blessed, and we’re having fun. The only thing we kn0w for sure that’s coming in the next few weeks or months? Teeth.
Happy Mother’s Day to our moms, our sisters (biological and in love), and all the ladies who helped raise us. Happy Mother’s Day and huge hugs to the two women who birthed our sons, both permanent and foster. So much love to women who wait, who mourn, and who hope for children.