"This past Sunday morning I answered my phone at 3 am, after hearing it ring our landline and then start on my cell phone. It was CPS asking us to take an emergency placement. We were not on the emergency placement list, our house was “full” with 5 kids already. And my husband just had a few more hours of sleep before he had to leave for his 24-hr shift. And, I had to drive out 35 min to pick them up. (Police cars aren’t made to transport car seats). I asked her for a minute to figure it out (I mean, wake up, and figure things out).
Of course my next question was “are you sure there isn’t someone else you can call?” (I’m super thoughtful like that) “No. And I realize you aren’t even on the list. We just need them taken care of until people can get to work and start making phone calls”
I told her a couple more reasons why I couldn’t (not enough car seats, a softball party to go to, I will be by myself with 7 kids, 3 of them under 2 for the day).
She waited for an answer, recognizing I was giving a list of excuses.
I said, “yes, I can go.”
So I went. And picked up some sleeping babies and put them in my car and brought them home. Before I went into the apartment to get them I introduced myself to mom, who was hysterical and handcuffed in the back of the police car. I wanted to give her a hug. She was able to share with me the kids favorite foods and asked me to take some of their favorite stuffies.
Got them home and settled.
On our end it was almost like Christmas when the big kids woke up. My son told each kid “you guys..shh..we need to be quiet. There are new kids here and they are asleep!” They tiptoed in to see the babies sleeping. They still don’t completely understand the trauma that is happening on the other side, but how could they possibly relate?
Reinforcements quickly swooped in to help. Aunt Mo, who is excellent at finding the cutest clothes, stopped and grabbed some perfect outfits for the little girl on the way over. She stayed and helped all day. A life giver. Cousin Faith helped at the park too, because of course we still had to get to Kaiya's softball party! One of her teammates families helped with getting her there and home.
Baby girl only wanted to be held. Tara Christensen saved the day by bringing over this jumpy seat. I was hoping the baby would be entertained by it, instead all of the boys (ages 1-11) were occupied with it. Still helpful!!
Monday, DHS worked hard to find a solution: either finding another foster placement or figuring out if it was safe for them to return home.
On Tuesday morning they went home to their Mama, with a plan in place to make sure they are appropriately cared for.
A friend texted me this note, which is absolutely how I feel...it is difficult to say yes sometimes: "Bless you and Jason for saying 'yes.' I can only imagine how hard it is to say 'yes', and yet even harder to say 'no'."
After they left, our one-year-old came home and said “where baby?” pointing to her pack of diapers and the places she would sit. Our four-year-old asked, “When can we do it again? Next time can there be 19 kids?"
-Tenisha, Foster Mom in Portland, OR