About C: My Second Foster Sister

I was in college when my parents got the call.  There was a special needs child who needed a home.  To say “special needs” is such an understatement in her case.

C was nine years old.  She had cerebral palsy and was fed through a g-tube.  Her parents didn’t have electricity and so they would sometimes run an electrical extension cord from the neighbors to her medical equipment.  Sometimes. Continue reading

Nags Head (aka Beach #2)

The second week of our vacation was planned last minute to accommodate my brother who now lives on the other side of the world and to celebrate my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary (which actually isn’t until October).  He was able to return home for a few weeks, and amazingly we were able to find an available, large beach house during a holiday week.

Family members staggered in throughout the week, and by Wednesday evening all of us* were accounted for.   This was the first time we had all been together since my wedding in 2004.  Even more remarkable, this was the first family vacation since 1985. Continue reading

About A: My First Foster Sister

I come from a big family. I am the youngest of six, and then some. From time to time, and in no particular order, I’ve written about my siblings. There are a few entries that I haven’t gotten to yet, and in the spirit of Foster Fridays over at Don’t We Look Alike?, I’m going to write about a little girl named A.

My family had just moved from New York to West Virginia, and we children were down to two: Marji and me. My dad and mum had gone through the state licensing program to become foster parents, and they were invited to meet a little girl who had been born with some health problems and couldn’t go home. For starters, she couldn’t eat food and was fed through a g-tube (a hole was cut through her skin above her tummy, and the food she was given went straight into her stomach). She also had severe breathing problems, which were an issue because her parents were smokers and had a couple of german shepherds. Her parents decided that they didn’t want to quit their habit or get rid of the dogs, and so the only solution was for this fragile girl to live in another home. (It should also be mentioned A had a twin sister who was born healthy and was able to remain at home.)

Well, dad and mum drove to the hospital and were introduced to A. She was attached to so many tubes that were helping her breathe and eat. They both knew that they would be taking her home. The hospital staff was so very happy to hear this, because of all of the other prospective foster parents, my parents were the only ones who were not revulsed upon the sight of this poor girl in the condition she was in.

A came home, and she was the little baby sister I always wanted. She was loved by so many people in our neighborhood and our church, not to mention our large family! My dad was working as a truck driver at the time, and so there weren’t many men in her life. She would usually cry when held by a man, but that changed when my brother the Marine (I still need to write about him!) came home for a visit. Oh, how she loved him! and vice versa.

This little girl with strawberry-blonde hair thrived in our home. I remember when she had figured out how to swallow without choking. She also was very capable of breathing on her own in our pet-free, smoke-free home. She started to become mobile and jabber.

She was so healthy… that the state of West Virginia said that she was able to be reunited with her family. This is the goal of foster care after all. Still I was devastated the day she was removed from our home. I felt that my parents had done all of the hard work, and that she was unjustly being removed from our home. I also was scared that she wouldn’t do well. Ultimately, I felt that her parents didn’t deserve her if they would rather have dogs than a little baby.

I’ll be honest: To this day, I still don’t think that they did. I’ve come to learn some facts about her early childhood with them, and I know that she didn’t have an easy life.

Even though she was with our family so briefly, she was loved with abundance. We think of her often. She’s now a young lady in her early twenties. I wonder did she go to college, is she a hard worker, does she still like big bouncy balls? I hope that the little bit of good we did was enough.

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A wasn’t the only child that my parents fostered, and someday soon I hope to write about B and C. (Seriously, those are their initials, and they lived with us in that order.)

Photos of Our Children

big sister

Yes, children.

We are so incredibly excited to announce that Wren is going to be a big sister in September!

This little one looks like he* is relaxing, but actually he is a very active little tadpole.  He wouldn’t stay still long enough the first time we went to listen to the heartbeat.  At the ultrasound yesterday, he was again busy kicking and waving his arms around.

Although the imaging center is not far from our house, the anticipation made it seem hours away.  We were reminded of our long drive to meet Wren for the first time.

We tell our dearest daughter every day she is going to be a big sister, and that there are going to be a lot of changes this Fall.  Most importantly we tell her that she isn’t going to be loved any less.  In fact, she’s going to be loved even more because there is going to be an extra person in the world to love her.

PS Does anybody have any advice on how to transition from one to two?

 

*Sex unknown.