8. False Alarm

adoption foster foster care kids pre-placement Apr 26, 2016

Good morning! Sarah here. We got THE call last night. It was about 8:00pm and we were resting on the couch when my phone rang. We didn’t think much of it, as it’s been 3 weeks since approval and no call. Imagine our surprise when the person on the other end of the line identified themselves as a calling with our agency! Cue the panic.

She was calling with placement of 2 children ages one and three. They were from a sibling set of four but were being split up. Did we want her to continue telling us about the children? Well… I looked at Alex with panic in my eyes and asked her if we would be interested in taking a sibling set. We had talked about it as a possibility, but now it was a reality!
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tapR45hflRw%5D

We decided to hear more and we got quite a bit of information. Where the kiddos were, what the situation was that brought them into care, what the state of their home was in when the mandated reporter called in, their genders, ages, birthdays and what kind of special needs the children had.

We listened as best as we could and made our first mistake. We didn’t take ANY notes.

We were so nervously excited that we completely skipped that part. We don’t recommend making that mistake! We asked a few questions about how long they would be able to share a room (we only have one children’s room) and how they are around dogs. They didn’t know how they kiddos were around dogs so they were going to get back to us with that. They were also going to call us back with sizes of clothes, diapers, if the 3 year old is potty trained, and what foods they were eating. We completely forgot about the list of questions we were planning on asking when we got a call due to all the panic and excitement we were feeling!

Once we got all the information the lady had, we moved into action. We were not prepared to take in 2 children so we had to make a run to Target and pick up a pack and play for the 1 year old to sleep in until we were able to get a second bed, we needed PJs for the 3 year old, and we needed some food for a 1 year old. Off to target to pile up a cart with the essentials.

We were in Target and got a call that the lady didn’t know any more information but was calling to tell us that she didn’t forget about us. We informed her that we just grabbed a wide variety of food and would figure it out when we took placement. She chuckled and said that was probably best.

The oldest sibling told the workers that all the kids are deathly afraid of dogs. We were out of the picture. We were devastated.

We checked out and were loading up the car when we got our final call of the night. The oldest sibling told them that all the kids are deathly afraid of dogs. We were out of the picture. We were devastated. We thanked the lady and headed home. On our drive we talked about the fact that it was probably for the best. We should start off with one child and we should be better prepared to ask more questions. We talked about how exciting it is to get the first call and how our home was not the right fit for those children with fears of dogs. How thankful we were that we asked about pets so we knew before the kids showed up and showed fear toward our pupkins. It is in our file that we have dogs but we now know to bring it up when we get calls for placement.

After all this process… we know, we are a great team in the moment with talking to each other and calling to action, but we need to be prepared to ask more questions and take notes. We are going to go to a store for used items for kids tonight and buy some of the things that we thought we were not going to need that we now know we will. Here’s hoping that we get another call soon!

Foster and adoptive parents… Please share your tips and tricks for new foster parents when preparing for their first calls (in the comments). We could all use some insight from people that have been there! Thank you

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