We had only been certified as foster parents in Philadelphia for 2 days when we got our first foster care placement. It turns out that is not too uncommon – there is a great need for foster parents in Philly. It was around 8pm and our two girls were already in bed. A caseworker at a local hospital called and told us she had a newborn in need of a home.
On our foster care profile, we had specified that we would be most comfortable with infants or toddlers, having two toddlers of our own. Even though we had finally gotten back to sleeping through the night, we were still excited to care for a newborn again.
Baby B was just a few days old and they had determined that she couldn’t go home with her family at the moment. She would be our first foster care placement. The DHS caseworker gave us a brief overview of the situation. We tried to ask as many questions as we could think of. Are there any siblings? Did she have any medical issues in the hospital? Where is her family?
We were able to gather a few answers, but a lot of information was still uncertain, as is often the case. After we finished with the caseworker, we received another call from a placement nurse who answered a couple questions about her medical care at the hospital. No major issues had been identified so far.
They were getting ready to drop her off in the next hour or so.
Hello Baby B!
Two delightful DHS caseworkers arrived at our door around 9pm. They had Baby B in a carseat along with a Temple Baby Box filled with diapers, bottles, and formula.
They stuck around for 15 or 20 minutes and answered a few extra questions, but afterwards had to head to another home. Once they left, it took a little bit before it finally kicked in. We were foster parents.
Taking care of babies is kind of like riding a bike. It didn’t take long before we were back into the routine of frequent feedings, nighttime awakenings, and diapers.
Meeting the Kids
Our girls didn’t get to meet Baby B until the next morning. We had been prepping them that they might be getting a new baby sister or brother sometime soon.
There are few things that have been as memorable for me as seeing our girls meet Baby B for the first time. Addie, our oldest, pulled up a chair to her bassinet and just sat and watched her for almost an hour. If you have known any toddler ever, then you recognize the attention that requires!
And Riley immediately wanted to mimic every mama-like action Addie took. They both jumped right into giving her bottles and brushing her hair with their fingers. Some people wonder how foster children will affect their own, but the experience at least for our girls has only been positive so far.
Always Our First Foster
We are so grateful that Baby B has been able to be a part of our family all this time. We are always rooting for her own mama, that they might be able to be reunited at some point. But whatever happens for her down the line, she’ll always be our first. And we love her.
If you want to know more about the first week with a new placement, see our New Placement Guide. You can also check out our previous post on our Philadelphia foster care certification process.