Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A Tale of Two Mommies

Today we got a phone call that turned our household up end in a very exciting way. Could we take a little baby through foster care for a couple of weeks? Since Grace has been bugging me lately about having another baby, I said yes, thinking the reality of a baby will cure her of those quasi-maternal urges. I knew it would cure me :).

We ran through the house and did a checklist of which baby things were stored in the garage, what needed to be replaced (bottles, diapers, formula), and what small changes would need to be made in our household to accomodate one more (surprisingly little).

Then we had great fun heading to Babies-R-Us and jointly choosing new baby bottles, binkies, and a couple safety things that our *big* kids don't need anymore.

The girls' enthusiasm was contagious, and even though I knew this was a very temporary foster care placement--and I was glad it was!--I found myself getting excited about having a baby around the house again. Lately Mercie has taken to pointing at herself and then at me, nodding her head and saying wisely, "Mercie, Momma, grownups." She and Eric are still so much my babies that I sometimes have to force myself to step back and realize they are, in fact, quite grownup. We were an enthusiastic group preparing to welcome this little one to his temporary home.

As we loaded bags and kids into the car, I listened to Grace singing, "a wonderful, wonderful thing--we're going to have a baby today!" And suddenly the other side of the story hit me smack in the figurative face.

While we were waiting anxiously, excitedly for the call telling us that a baby was on his way to our house, another mom was saying a heartbreaking goodbye to him. While we danced and sang for sheer joy of sharing him for a little while, another mom was surrendering custody in the company of law enforcement officers and social workers. As we cleared our calendar and adjusted our schedule to accomodate a busy baby, another mom faced a lonely night, waking up to a lonely day, and an uncertain road back to her baby.

Should it happen? It's a no-brainer. We're not the most experienced foster parents on the planet, but we have an incredible child protection system here, and I've learned to respect and trust the workers, court officers, and support people. They don't remove kids on a whim, and their top goal is to bring families back together. If they saw reasons to remove this child, or any child, I'd put money on those reasons being valid.

Is it fair? Of course not. Is it the right thing? I'm betting so. Does that make it any easier, for the baby who cried himself to sleep tonight in my lap, or the momma who is probably doing the same in her too-quiet home? Nope.

All I can do is my tiny part in all of this--love this little baby for the time he's mine. And love his momma, from a distance, even if it's nothing more than my prayers that she'll do what it takes to bring momma and baby both back where they belong.

1 comment:

Nemmer said...

Oh wow! How exciting and heartbreaking all at once! Let me know if I can do anything to help. :)