Five Months Later

This time, these visits, was hard for us, for our family, and it lasted five months. Will he be safe, will he be fed, loved, cared for? But remembering it was our choice to love with reckless abandon, our choice to provide everything, including our hearts, to this baby....we prayed for him while he was gone and when we had him back, we cleaned him, fed him, and loved him.

One Sunday in February, Super Bowl Sunday actually, we were at Beth's (my sister-in-law) house watching the game with her family. As we were packing up at half-time to go home, my phone was a placement for a baby boy, either three or five months old. (It's not entirely unusual to get broken facts the first few days depending on the circumstances surrounding the child's removal.) We were moments away from the social workers office (the cabinet) and without much thought, said "Yes." We had to borrow a car seat from them since we only had one and a blanket because it was a cold, cold night and Poppy, as we called him, was not dressed for the weather. He and Timothy exchanged the funniest glances on our way home as we tried to explain to our 18 month old that Poppy would be staying with us for a while and that we would love him and care for him like he was his brother. We finally got them home and I made Poppy a fresh bottle of formula as Scott bathed Timothy. After he downed that and got his bath, that sweet baby boy slept for the next 13 hours with out making a peep. I had to check on him several times because, for one thing, he was the youngest child we had ever cared for, and another, I'd always heard babies cried a bunch at night. Not this guy! Either he was just so tired, or was finally warm, fed and comfortable enough to sleep for so long, or a combination of the two. Either way, it was wonderful. The next day we got a crib from a friend and bought a second car seat so we could return the borrowed one to the cabinet, and some warm clothes for the little man. That evening, we received a call that he would be returning home on Wednesday and that we needed to take him, with his belongings, to the courthouse at the designated time. Wow. So this is how it works? He had no belongings so we sent him home with the things we bought for him. I hadn't realized until I drove away without Poppy that he had already claimed a place in my heart. He and Timothy had played together for three days and we would all miss him.

Now we had another empty crib.....