We knew this day was coming. It was actually supposed to happen last weekend, but there was a little bit a a hiccup in the process. Her had actually moved from California to comply with CPS. We didn't completely understand the situation, but it came across as he'd never really been involved as a parent, but when given the opportunity, he really did what he needed to do to step up. For the past few weeks, he'd been doing visitations with Baby C on Friday evenings. At first he wasn't really sure of what he should be doing, but at the most recent visitation, when I went in at the end of the hour, they were playing together with the toys. The simple fact that he was willing to move, get a new apartment, find a new job, said that he was willing to do what he needed to do.
It's been bittersweet for us. I've probably used that word a dozen times to describe my feelings. We originally brought baby C home, thinking it was just for a long weekend. We were waiting for her grandma to get some documents together so she could take Baby home. After the weekend, grandma decided she didn't want to have a toddler in her home, and left her in our care. While we weren't 100% prepared for the situation, we made the best of it. We fell into kind of a groove and did the best we could with the hand we were dealt.
C was a wonderful baby. She was pretty quiet (amazing, after our last experience), loved us, loved the dogs, and for the most part was a happy, healthy little girl. We took her in for a checkup shortly after she arrived & felt horrible when the doctor told us she had a double ear infection -- she'd never cried a single time.
We figured out her likes and dislikes, spent hours cuddling with her on the couch and playing with her; Mike even taught her to flap her "wings" and roar like a dragon. This quickly became her favorite game in the car.
More amazingly, we saw her take her first steps. This wasn't something I'd ever experienced and it was amazing. When we first brought her home, she didn't walk or talk, or a lot of other things babies her age should probably be doing. But, barely a month later, she was walking like a champ and talking up a storm. I taught her peek-a-boo, Mike introduced her to Star Wars (which she really seemed to like).
It probably goes without saying that we totally fell in love with her... so did everyone else who met her. It was hard NOT to love her. She was sweet, and silly, and personable, and generally a good kid. Given the opportunity, we would have kept her forever, but that wasn't in the cards for us. We spent a long time really torn about the situation, because we'd originally just signed on for a couple days of fostering. We were gearing up for a busier time of year with a lot of different things going on and juggling all of that with a toddler was hard. A couple of times, we even thought about having her placed with another foster family while they got all of this sorted out, but it never really panned out. We kept plugging along and doing what we needed to do. And every single day, we made sure she had a good day.
While we are sad that she's gone -- and quite honestly cleaned all of the toys and baby things out of the living room so we weren't reminded of her all the time -- we are happy in knowing she's with her family that loves her very much. She will probably never remember us, but we will always remember her.