Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Hello Missy!

Big Girl left in April, right after Easter.  I believe I have already chronicled the calls I got for new placements. Finally the call came for a placement that sounded like a good fit.  I was just about to start PT on a beautiful sunny afternoon on the Navy base when my cell rang.  The placement coordinator told me they had an 8 month old girl in need of a foster home.  I asked any questions I could think to ask, but really the worker did not have too much info.  As far as she knew she was healthy, correct developmentally, and had no special needs.  When I said "yes," she said the social worker would call me soon.  I continued my run (with Dottie) and just as I finished (perfect timing!) the social worker called and we made a plan.  I would report to the county office in an hour to pick her up.  I needed an hour since I first had to go home and install a carseat in my car and the office is in the opposite direction from my house.

I left work a little early, and I informed the powers that be why I was leaving, but my main boss who watches my time very closely was not around, so more good timing there.  Even though I used the same car seat for Big Girl, this time it was facing backwards so it took me a while to figure it out.  I ended up being a little late.  I found the office without too much trouble.  Actually, first I put the wrong street into my GPS, but when it took me the wrong way I figured it out quickly.  I arrived at the office and checked in.  As I waited, I wondered not only what Missy would be like, but also if she would be "the one" I get to adopt and I also reflected on the same thoughts all new (and possibly veteran) moms have, "Will I be a good mom?"  High School English teachers will tell you to never use "all" and never use broad statements like that, but the moms I know who have confided in me all reported being worried about their abilities to be a good mom.  So there, High School English Teachers.

I didn't have to wait too long until I was called in the back and the social worker arrived with Missy.  She (of course) looks nothing like Big Girl, and I wouldn't expect her to, but for some reason my brain was still surprised.  Who knows what my brain was thinking.  She was small, but other than that, besides being surprised, I don't remember what I thought.  She had been crying and her nose was running but the room is set up for that kind of  thing and  there were tissues so when she was passed over to me, I took care of that.  She did not like being passed over to me and she took up crying again.  Being an inexperienced baby soother, I felt kind of on the spot because I also felt like the social worker was judging me on my ability to sooth her.  Maybe veteran foster parent know this, but here is a tip for other newbies:  When going to meet your new foster child, you will be filling out paperwork.  Even if the foster child (baby) is totally happy, he or she will be bored.  You need to bring a toy to entertain the little one.  A toy would have been good, but I bet she was also hungry and of course upset being with all these new people.  She was somewhat amused by grabbing the papers we were trying to fill out.  As the social worker finished with the papers and gave them to me to sign, I passed Missy back to her and she stopped crying.  Hmp.

The papers were done pretty quickly and even through  I tired to  get more info from her, the social worker had no more info for me.  She brought out the bags of stuff her mom had packed for her.  A much more reasonable amount than the 3 large and full duffle bags Big Girl's family packed for her.  The best part of the bags was there was baby food and formula and diapers.  Very useful and money savings for me!  The not so good part was most of the clothes were too small.

Missy cried as soon as I put her in the car and while I hoped her big day combined with driving would put her to sleep, that was not the case.  Knowing what I know about her now, I'm sure she wanted a bottle.  Poor baby.  I stopped at the close Chick-fil-A for dinner since as soon as I got home I wanted to attend to her needs.  She cried the whole time in the drive through.  I felt like a bad mom already!  It was a little over a half an hour to get home and she did fall asleep at the end, just in time to get out at home.

I don't remember too much about that first day.  I know it was a Wednesday and it was the night I train my one and only obedience client.  I held Missy for the entire hour and a half lesson.  Much easier than holding Big Girl, my my arms were still very sore the next day!

The social worker had told me that Missy was used to waking up at night and being fed a bottle, but that the public health nurse said I should  try to help her get back to sleep without it.  The first night she woke up at 11 pm, 2 am, and then about 5:15.  She was not easy to soothe the first two times and at 5:15 it was close enough to time to get up that I didn't even try.  Luckily the next night, and all subsequent nights, she has slept through no problems!  At first I had a little trouble getting her to initially fall asleep, but now that we have a schedule she no longer has that problem.

Here are some of the first pictures I took of super sweet, cute little Missy!  Looking back at these pictures, she has already grown!
The first picture I took.  Dottie is not posed.  She wanted to help play with the toys.

She got her first tooth the second day I had her!

Pie hopes for a snack.

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