Friday, October 5, 2012

My favorite foster care story ever. times infinity. (Melissa)

When people ask me how I can do foster and how I have survived taking care of so many other peoples children, this is the story I tell.  Granted, I give them the much faster version.  But I will share my long, detailed account because I can.  

Back many, many years ago.  I had a sweet boy from the Christmas Box House.  His name was Carter.  
(Sorry, I had to scan this in since it was pre-digital camera for me.  So he is a bit washed out.)
He was only with us for a couple of weeks.  There was no suitable biological family, so a committee chose a foster family for him.  One day in February, his new family Andrew and Brandee came to my house to pick him up.  This is a memory I will never lose.  They were so excited to get him.  I watched out the window as they left, (a little piece of your heart leaves with each child).  They went out to the car as a new family.  Brandee climbed in the back seat to sit with Carter.  That was so touching to me.  I am going to be honest and I hope I don't offend Carter or his family. We had a few problems with Carter.  Nothing huge.  He was a good kid.  But as I watched his mom climb in the back seat with him, I knew why we had not bonded as we should have.  He was their son.  Not ours. It was a big moment for me.  

(This next part is stolen from Brandee's blog.  I hope you don't care Brandee, but I loved it.)

I still remember getting the call from DCFS that we had been selected as 1 of the 3 possible families for a little boy that had just turned 3. About a week later they called us and said we'd been selected. His caseworker brought a picture of him to our house the night before we got him. I saw that picture and knew I was looking at my little boy, my son. Drew and I took the picture over to show my mom and dad. They both looked at the picture and instantly fell in love with him. He looked so sad in the picture. But the next day Drew and I went and picked him up from the shelter home.
When we got there the shelter mom asked him, "Carter, do you remember who I said was coming today?" He said, "My mom and dad."
I picked him up and he wrapped his arms around my neck and said, "I missed you."
We got home and he ran around the house touching all the walls and saying, "My house." He knew he was meant to be there.
That night my mom and dad came over for dinner. We were laughing and joking, and then in his little squeaky voice, Carter said, "I'm glad I came home." We all lost it and told him we were glad he came home, too.
I'm so grateful for this little guy.
I don't know where the time has gone.
He was definitely meant to be my little boy, he was definitely the child that was chose.

Now fast forward about a year.  I was sitting in Primary (Primary is a church class for children 3-11) with my class.  I look over and who do I see?  You guessed it.  Carter.  I was antsy and wiggly as I thought about all the different scenarios that would bring him back to my church in my neighborhood.  I ran up to his teacher after class and ask her who had brought him.  She told me who.  I went outside the primary room and ran into her.  It turned out that she was Brandee's aunt.  Small world, right?    She was on the defensive side while I was asking her questions.  It turns out she had every right to  be.  Brandee and Andrew were just about to finalize the adoption and the aunt was scared about where I knew him from.  She didn't want anymore delays.  Just a happily ever after for this family.   

Now we are going to fast forward again.  Are you still with me?  I had a darling newborn baby girl.  Here she is on her first day home from the hospital.  

This is her little tee-shirt she came home with.  She didn't even have an outfit.  Here is a shout out to the march of dimes so she at least had something to wear from the hospital until we got her when the case worker dropped her off.  

We had her for just under a month.  I got a phone call after the committee screening and it was her new foster mom.  Guess who?  Right again.  Brandee.  She asked if I remembered her (how could I forget!!) and told me that she was selected for KayCee, too.  We thought it was pretty amazing that my family and I had loved and cared  for both of her children.  It was quite the emotional experience when she showed up at my house and I handed her her baby. I cried for a while over that one.   I was also worried that since she had Indian in her genealogy  that they would not get to keep her.  I prayed hard over them for a long time.  

This is the day I brought KayCee home; I say "I" because I couldn't wait for Drew, and Carter and I went and picked her up before he got home from work!  I was sitting on the couch feeding her a bottle when he got there!  It still amazes me that my little KayCee was ever this tiny!  She was 4 weeks old when we got her, and she only weighed 7 pounds.  I love this picture of my two babies!  Carter was so little!  The day we got KayCee was also his first day of pre-school!

Now, back in the DeLorean.  It is over a year later and we are at a park.  Our school district hands out free lunches to children at schools and parks in the summer.  We got to the park a bit early and we were standing in line.  Guess who was in front of us?  Nope, not Brandee.  But Carter and KayCee were.  Well, I saw Carter with someone who was not Brandee. She had two little girls in a wagon.  If my memory is working right, one baby was light haired and one was dark haired.  I just stood in line and watched all the kids.  The interesting thing was that Carter and my son, James hit it off. They were playing and jumping.  What they didn't remember was that they used to be brothers and shared a room.  If only for a short time, they were brothers.  I stood and watched the little girls (I sound like a creeper, but I am not, I promise.)  I didn't say anything to the adults with the kids.  Because of confidentiality and Brandee's family's privacy, I didn't say anything.  We did ask Carter if he had any siblings and he pointed to the blonde baby.  That was totally surprising to me.  I expected KayCee to be the dark haired one.  I had a smile on my face the rest of that day.    

Now Brandee's aunt has moved from our neighborhood so I can't get any updates.  A few years ago, a good friend of mine was going to the aunts house so I asked her to get me an update on the kids.  And to my surprise, the aunt gave me a photo.  This sounds pretty cheesy, but I cherish that photo.  The kids only know them as some of our shelter kids.  But they hold a special place in my heart.  Guess where that photo has hung for the past few years?  

 Yep-a-doodle.  That is my dirty old fridge.  
And that's their picture taped to it.  

So, there you go.  My favorite foster care story.  Was it as good as you had expected?  I am so grateful for the experiences that foster care has given me.  These 2 children don't know me from Adam, but they will always be in my heart. And I thank their parents for all they do.  They are incredible.  I thank them for the time I spent with their kids.  I know it wasn't up to them but I do thank them for that.  I am also grateful for technology that I can blog stalk and see them grow up.  They are the only kids out of 79 (I have had 82 foster, but 80, 81, and 82 are not leaving.  I have adopted them.) That I can keep tabs on and know where they are.  And as of today when I was asking for permission to post names and photos, I am now their facebook stalker.



  1. Beautiful story! How great is that!?!

  2. Oh wow...I cried so hard at the little boy's reaction with his mom. I think I needed to read that today! Thanks!