After a great deal of thought, and an endless number of "should we or shouldn't we" conversations, Mike and I have changed course a bit in the world of foster care. We have decided a couple of things -
1. One child is enough. I said this before, but going from zero children in our home to two children in our home is much too overwhelming, especially since I've never had children.
2. We are not ready for long-term care yet. Yet. We realized we still like having options and the ability to say no. We were actually presented with a potential adoptive child a few weeks ago. We thought about it and talked about it, and in the end decided we weren't there yet. Part of us wanted to be, but we realized it would be unfair to us as a couple and unfair to the child to make that step without being 100% certain it was the right choice. After a few days of talking it over, we kindly thanked the case worker, but walked away without ever meeting the baby. We saw a picture, but knew meeting him wasn't the right thing to do.
That being said, we have made the well-thought out decision to provide short term and/or respite care in spurts through the rest of the school year. We can step back during times that are strenuous for our jobs (or perhaps law-school finals time), and still provide care to children in need. Once summer begins, we can start looking for that "right match" for a longer-term placement.
Today, we took our first short-term placement. This afternoon, we picked up Baby C. Baby C is a sweet 15-month old girl with a couple older siblings that are currently staying with their grandmother. The caseworker is concerned that grandma cannot handle a toddler, but they'll hammer something out early next week. In the meantime, Baby C is staying with us.
Baby C is almost the complete opposite of our last foster-baby. She's virtually silent, not particularly needy, and not puking on me. Apart from the puking thing, we are worried that the other two things might be signs of long term neglect and/or severe developmental delays. In the 4+ hours she was with us before she went to sleep, she didn't say a single word. She babbled "ba ba ba" a couple times, but that was about the extent of it. She doesn't point, or respond to her name. We even tried speaking Spanish to her, but it didn't seem to work. We're also terrible at speaking Spanish, so it might be our accents. :)
All in all, so far, so good. CPS can't find her shot records, so I can't get her into daycare... I'm hoping we remedy that over the weekend, otherwise we may have to find a stay-home foster mom to care for her until we get that sorted out.
In the meantime, she's out like a light, so I'm going to sleep while the sleeping is good.