Chronicles of a Foster Family: “Hello”


January 30, 2014 by greenhouse04


With that one word, I accepted responsiblity for a 5-day-old baby, whom I knew nothing about, whose future was a dark mystery.

That one word set things into motion. The woman who had asked so urgently for an answer turned to the carseat and said, “Here he is.”

I could only gaze at the tiny face for a moment when I heard her continue. “Mom is here for a visit. Could you wait another hour? Also, she’d like to meet you.”

Five minutes later, after settling the details and letting Mr. know we had a new foster son, I walked into a room, where I saw the worn-looking woman (see the previous post) cradling the baby.

All I had invested so far in Baby M. was a mild curiosity, so the sight did not affect me much. (Although I knew the sight would become familiar and much more difficult to see in the months ahead.)

I walked up to her and introduced myself, asked her name, and sat down in a nearby chair. We made small talk, and the whole time she had eyes only for her baby, whom she had not seen since giving birth in the hospital. She described the ease of the delivery and pregnancy, then asked where we live. I was ready – “In the area. Don’t worry, he’ll be close enough for visits.” I told her a little about our kids and how excited they are to meet the baby. Then, I rose to go.

As I left, I mulled over my first impressions. My impression was of an older woman who had lived a very rough life, had no money, and not a lot of will-power to change her situation. I was right about everything except her age – both Mr. and I were shocked to learn that she’s several years younger than me.

We picked Baby M. up an hour later, drove home, and . . .

left the kids with a babysitter and went on a date!

Yes, we’d planned a date for that evening, and we decided to go ahead, although our plans were slightly modified. Our wonderful babysitter agreed to stay with all three kids while we ate dinner.

The entire dinner Baby M. and his situation, and the changes about to take place in our lives, were ever present in my mind. I wondered how we would handle three kids, if Baby M. would let us get any sleep in the weeks ahead, and how on earth I would have time to continue homeschooling Eddie!

It was rather ironic and humbling when, as were getting ready to go, I saw three tiny girls wearing Mennonite dresses and bonnets walk quietly past our table, followed by their father carrying an even smaller girl, followed by their mother carrying a tiny baby! The oldest girl was maybe five. Ah well, I thought, there’s always someone getting less sleep than me!

Then, we got in our van and headed home to say a proper “hello” to Baby M.


One thought on “Chronicles of a Foster Family: “Hello”

  1. Tom Green says:

    You are very eloquent with your writing. You need to start thinking about a book.

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