"Mom, how does the Tooth Fairy fly through the air?"
"How do YOU think?"
"I think moms do it."
"But how can a Mom be a Tooth Fairy?"
"Good moms are lots of things, Princess."

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Circling Back Around

Three years ago a woman came into my life. She may have saved it. We'll never know. A friend did a presentation at our church's women's study on foster care. Afterward, this woman approached my friend and asked if there was any way she could help a foster family. Why yes. Yes she could. My friend told her about me, how I was trying to keep my head above the water, and that what I really needed most was someone to come to the house and care for my children while I dealt with all the stuff that I couldn't take children to (can we say, "annual physical?"). And this wonderful, unbelievable, spectacular-can't-say-enough-good-about-her woman did. Once a week for two years. She still comes twice a month, even though I have my stuff together now, because she loves the children. And she loves me.

So when Josh met a new foster family (the one that PTSD'd me) with two premature infants, one medically fragile, of course I volunteered. Well. Josh volunteered me. But anyway. How could I not? I, who know first hand what a disgusting mess foster care is in? I, who know there is no support unless you're willing to spend hours on the phone yelling at people? And even then you're probably on your own. So starting today, I go there every Wednesday morning so another woman can get her stuff together.

Let me tell you, it freaks. me. out.

For starters, I am not a baby person. Yes, I love babies. I think they're great. I think they're very important, and I will do anything for one. But I am not the type of person who runs up to strangers at Target and tries to grab their baby so I can smell their powdered butt and peel their socks off to kiss their toes. I'm just not. Then add in twins. And one's hooked up to a million wires. Nuh-uh. While she was showing me the monitor, the first thing she said was, "this is the light that goes on if his heart stops." I am sure I turned visibly ashen. I felt the color of oatmeal, and I got that woozy feeling I get when I'm about to hit the floor. She quickly jumped in with, "that won't happen!!! That never happens!!!" But the damage was done. (The worst part was it DID go off; but it was because his teeny little monitor sticker was on it's last legs and it slipped off. So we're all good. Except for my temporary aneurism).

I spent the first hour trying not to panic. I kept telling myself that it wasn't so different from what I had already survived. And I caught on. By 1:00 I was hooking and unhooking that sucker like a pro, fed the baby while holding him on his side, and had both of them asleep. At the same time. So I count it a success. Despite that the Cuddle Bear and the 3-year-old grandson got in the gift closet and ripped apart all the boxes of toys. Small details.

And I did get some fresh asparagus out of it. Plus, you know, that whole "giving back" thing.


  1. It's a darn shame you don't live in south Texas. I would so love to help you out! I'm counting on getting to know some other foster families as we continue on with our training. I'm going to need a support system and right now all I've got are the blogs I read and family that lives 1200 miles away.

  2. Actually Lynn, you need someone who's NOT a foster family. The foster families are all too tired. :)

  3. I suppose so Kerrie. And I've put my feelers out at church. It's so hard because we're new to the area and we don't really have any friends yet. (I work from home and find it nearly impossible to make friends.) I've got a young mom at church who said I could use her for a babysitter. We've been using our 13 year old son to babysit our 5 & 6 year old on Friday nights or Saturday afternoons. That won't work for foster kids though. Our agency requires all babysitters to be 21 or over. Acckk!!! But, it's that respite care that I know I'm going to need.

  4. Lynn, it sounds like you have a church home now. I'd ask in the office if they can hook you up with some people who might be interested. I've found work, a photographer for my wedding, all sorts of people there.

    Mary in Central TX

  5. How awesome of you to help that mom! And so awesome that someone jumped in and helped you out of nowhere back then!