Friday, April 24, 2009

The Bug

I have really been wanting to sit down and post for the last day but couldn't seem to find the time. Seth has been out of town A LOT latley so I don't seem to have any time at all. He is home (for now), thank goodness.

On with the story...

The few days after The Bug's arrival was a blur. Seth had to leave town almost immediatley for work after they arrived. So there I was, a new mom to these two girls, on my own, in just a matter of hours notice. This is not a complaint. This is what we signed up for. We were told that their placement with us would be about 6 months, so at this point I realzied my mission, and it was to simply teach C how to be a mother to The Bug. This was our opportunity to help, yet it was still overwhelming.

I had a lot of ground to cover. I needed to get some baby stuff first. We are so blessed and family and neighbors dug into their attics to get the very basic necessities for the first night. C came with only one or two outfits. Both girls reaked of cigarette smoke. What baby things The Bug did come with, I had to throw away due to the smell. When I think of the smoke infested bottle nipples she was drinking out of now, I just want to cry.

I had to get C enrolled in high school and The Bug enrolled in daycare. I had to get WIC services set up for them and sort out insurance information. Since we were brand new to our foster care agency, we still had paperwork to officially get finished and so on. They came to us on a Friday night so it was going to take some patience until Monday morning to get all the details sorted out. It was a crazy couple of first days and I remember calling my mom on my way to work that Wednesday morning after I had gotten them both off to their respective schools saying, "I was never so happy to say good-bye to two people for the day in all my life." I was exhausted. This was the first moment I had to myself and the first time to stop and reflect on what had truly just taken place in my home. :)

C was such a sweet girl. She was pleasant and funny. The kind of kid you enjoyed being around and spending time with. But she was also quite timid and shy when it came to caring for The Bug. She was uncomfortable and unsure of herself. Well, OF COURSE she was...she was barely 15 years old. Hell, I was uncomfortable and I was 30 something and on my own home turf. I remember feeling so sorry for her. She didn't take on the attitude of feeling sorry for herself though.

We set rules and expectations for C. For the most part she followed them and made it easy to parent her. She was attending school and making good grades. She was even making a few friends. At night we would do homework. I would help her feed The Bug and we worked together on bathing her and getting her into a routine. It took some proding and lots of encouragment. C genuinly loves The Bug. There is no doubt about that. She simply didn't (and still doesn't) have the skills to care for her baby. She was so very young, had no motherly example of her own to live by, as hers was incarcerated. Functional family life was foreign to her and that's why what happened next shouldn't have surprised us, but it did.

Three short weeks after their September 8 arrival, C ran away. I remember it well and had a weird feeling all afternoon about her. I picked The Bug up from daycare on my way home from work. C was usually home by then. The school bus usually dropped her off by 3:00pm. I think I got home quickly thereafter but there was no C. I waited and I waited. I checked the schools website and some buses were running behind. Still, I had this awkward feeling that it wasn't hers. By 4:00 I called Seth at work. He came home. C rode the bus with some neighborhood kids so we went knocking on their door to see if they had made it home, they had. By this time, they had been home for a couple hours. They reported that C was not on the bus home.

We called our agency and DCS first, then the police. At least The Bug was safe at home.

The Bug's Baby Days...

"Feels like some kind of ride but it's turning out just to be life going absolutely perfectly."
-B. Andreas

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