Foster Care

ANOTHER, placement?

“You guys have a bunk bed right?”

One of the first things said to me after returning home from a very long appointment with L’s birth mother and a venting session with Joshua which ended with “Ya done?” as he creeped down the the basement to escape from me.

As I am setting my bag down and grabbing a drink from the fridge, I hear my phone ring. Confused as to who could possibly be calling me, I run to the living room and see it’s from a phone number I don’t have saved. When I answer it is another worker from the agency, calling to ask us to take another placement. I say nothing and let him give me the details of the child’s case age, what has caused them to end up in care, personality and behavior etc. I realize after a moment that I haven’t said anything for a minute and simply reply “oh wow”, he continues with more details and I bolt down to the basement and try to mouth the words “ANOTHER PLACEMENT” to Josh frantically. Like a deer in headlights he gives me that look and starts shaking his head “What! No!!” I instantly think of S and everything that she has been through these last few weeks.

My sister moved out, leaving her with a bedroom to herself- for the first time in a long time. As well as some biological family drama that has been like a roller coaster for all those involved. I feel guilty that I consider it and tell the worker “I’m sorry, but we just got our second placement and we’re still trying to adjust to having her.” Instantly feeling guilty that I couldn’t give him the yes that he was looking for, but he tells me not to apologize or feel bad it’s part of his job to ask us no matter what. As the hours go by before S comes home from school, I realize that we never had that conversation with her. The “what if we get a call for another placement” talk, because ultimately she is the one who is going to have to share a bedroom again and it is as much up to her as it is to us. I play the conversation over and over in my head until she comes home and I can’t hold it in anymore.

“We got a call for another placement today.” I tell her after she talks about her day and plops down on the couch. Her eyes light up and she gives me a confused look “Oh?” I then go on to explain that we said no because we didn’t want to completely overwhelm the household and we weren’t sure how she would feel about it. I don’t want to say offended, because that isn’t the correct word I am looking for, but S was surprised (to say the least) that we felt this way. ” Are you kidding?” She says. ” I would love to have a friend! Honestly, when I was in that situation I needed a home and I was grateful. Don’t feel bad, it’s another kid that needs a home and you guys can give that.”

Ah! Another wave of guilt for saying no, but at least now we know for next time. Another child in our house would be the absolute max capacity for where we are, which is added to the list of reasons why we need to move. But for now we are going to have to make the best of what we have!

As I am editing this post a few days after I initially write it, S has made several “what if jokes”. “What if we got another baby? Could you imagine having 3 babies in the house?” As well as suggestions on putting a fleet of bunk beds in our basement and starting our own army. All very lighthearted, but in the end I know we made the right decision for now~

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