Hospital.

The drive to the hospital normally takes about 15 minutes. But when I was headed there to pick up our little guy, it felt like an eternity.

My hands were sweaty. My heart was racing. Thoughts FLOODED my mind. Emotions raced through my heart.

Are we really ready to welcome this little guy?

I’m so excited!

I wonder what he looks like.

I wonder if he has a name yet.

We have a name for him… baby Moses.

What if they don’t let me leave with him?

What if he has colic like our youngest?

I’m sure he will be great! He has to be…

His mama. Oh my heart. His mama.

I can’t even begin to imagine what she is going through.

Healing after giving birth and not having her son to snuggle.

Milk coming in and not having a baby to feed.

Post partum emotions going crazy and not having the ability to bond with her baby.

I. Can’t. Even. Imagine.

My heart BROKE for his mama on my drive and has broken for her everyday since.

I finally got to the hospital, and walked the long hall. The last time I walked this hall was when I was 9 months pregnant with our youngest, there to help my parents and see my grandma who was dying. To hold my grandmas hand as she floated in and out. That long hall had a whole new look to it now. It was filled with all sorts of emotions as I walked down it.

Then I turned the corner off the main hallway to meet the social worker from the hospital we had been working with. She led me through the big double doors and to the nurses station.

And there he was. Sweet baby Moses. All swaddled up in the bassinet hanging out at the nurses station. So alone. Left. Abandoned.

They escorted me to a room to watch the “purple crying” video and do paperwork. The nurse asked if I needed anything, and I just asked “can I hold him?” “Yes!! Yes of course! Enjoy! I’ll be back in a bit.” I felt like I still needed permission to hold someone else’s baby.

She walked out and it was just him and I. 28 hours old. Someone else’s baby that I now was choosing to love as my own. I picked him up, kissed his sweet little cheeks, told him it was going to be okay, told him that I loved him and that his mama loved him.

We sat and rocked and I just watched him (even though I was supposed to watch the purple crying video… oops! The way I saw it was that I made it through colic, I think I’ll be alright! 😬). I fed him a bit, but mostly just looked at him. Studying his face, savoring these moments. I was amazed with how much he looked like our girls when they were brand new! So much so I even did a side by side photo comparison of all of them and some of my friends couldn’t differentiate him from our girls!

After the video was over, the nurse came in with some paperwork and a box of clothes mom had been collecting.

I rummaged through the box looking for anything that was maybe a going home outfit mama had picked out. I found a pair of pants that were newborn size, but that was about it. So I got him dressed and took lots of pictures. Got him loaded in the car seat and the nurse said I was free to leave.

Free to leave.

With someone else’s baby.

It was so so so weird.

And I walked out of the hospital just like that.

Yes.

We took a break from fostering last October. And for 10 months God worked in big ways in our hearts. I’ll share more on that later.

But after not having any foster kiddos for 10 months, we were at a place of wondering. When would we get back into it? Would it look the same as before? Are we done? Is it time to just focus on our girls? But there’s still this stirring in our hearts for fostering.

We spent a long time asking, seeking and knocking… waiting and waiting for some guidance and some direction in our fostering journey. We knew God would answer, just didn’t know when or how.

Then this summer a friend of ours did respite for a 2 month old and it got us thinking. “We could do a baby…….”

We looked into getting that little guy, but it wasn’t going to work out.

As we continued praying and talking, we felt we had confirmation to move forward… but we’d have to be picky.

Tuesday night we emailed our certifier to let her know we’d be interested in taking a baby. But we told her we had to be picky…. the baby had to be under 6 months old, not drug affected (my heart absolutely goes out to those babes, but with 3 other littles at home I knew I wasn’t equipped with time or ability to help with withdrawals, etc.), and the baby needed to be a singleton, we couldn’t do a sibling set. We told her we knew this was a pretty specific request and that we figured we would have to wait a while for a placement.

She emailed back Wednesday morning SO excited to hear from us! She loved the idea of us getting a baby, and said she would start working on getting the exception from her supervisor for us to have 3 ages 3 and under in the house.

Friday morning she was able to connect with her supervisor and get the exception written.

Baby Mo was born at 10 am that morning.

The supervisor came to our certifier and asked if we were ready. She said “I think so!”

Our certifier called me at about 1 pm. I was SHOCKED! Here we thought we’d be waiting a while.

All she knew was that it was a BOY and that he was totally healthy, that mom hadn’t used drugs in several months so he wasn’t going through withdrawals. And that he didn’t have a name. She told us to get a name ready because if mom didn’t name him before she left the hospital, we would have to give him a name before we left the hospital.

I called Chad, and we both felt we were ready to say YES.

While most people have 9 months to prepare for a baby, we had an evening. A couple trips to Target, a couple calls and texts to close friends who immediately ordered us and brought us several things, and some moving of furniture, and we were “ready”.

Oh… did I mention we were hosting a neighborhood garage sale the next day?! 😬

We got called about 1 pm on Saturday to come pick him up. So I left immediately to head to the hospital.

To be continued…

Judgement.

Sometimes I’m the mom that feels on top of the world! The mom that was able to comfort this little guy while making a healthy dinner for our family. The mom that was able to handle 4 kids 4 and under like a pro that day. The mom that had a good day. The mom that was actually able to vacuum, sweep, AND clean out the fridge that day.

Then other times I’m the mom literally crying at the register at Target with 3 of the 4 kids LOSING IT as my card gets declined and I’m on the phone with WIC and they’re saying it’s Target’s fault that they’re not taking my WIC card for my foster sons special formula, while Target is saying it is WIC’s fault. All after I’ve spent 2 hours on the phone already this morning between the doctors office and the WIC office and eventually being assured by all that everything is squared away and I can go get his formula.

Be careful of your judgements. I know I’ve been one to judge others in line in front of me using WIC while holding a cup of Starbucks and wrangling multiple kids… “well maybe if you didn’t have Starbucks so often you could afford formula” or “maybe if you didn’t have so many kids you could afford to feed them all”… as much as it disgusts me to admit I’ve thought those things, luckily they’ve always been followed up with the thought that “there’s more to the story than I know and can see right now”. And now I am the one with more to the story. Could I have just sucked it up and spent the $179 of my own money to buy the formula? Yes. But that isn’t the point. Would it have been less embarrassing? You bet. And I seriously considered it just to get away from the looks, the judgement and the attention I was getting.

Be careful of your judgements. That mom in line in front of you with the kids acting perfectly, buying whatever her heart desires, makeup done and hair all cute with a beautiful smile on her face. Those thoughts of “Man… she’s got it all together” or “if only my kids acted like that life would be great” or “if I had the money to buy all of that I’d be happy” can be oh so dangerous. There is always more to the story. She may have been that same mom you saw in tears at the register the day before.

And just a little tip… in case you ever need it and to hopefully save you some time, energy and effort… you can’t use your WIC card at self check out, and Target doesn’t have all of the WIC approved formulas in they’re system, so you may have to leave and go try another store. It worked for me at Walmart… and now I have the freaking formula for my foster son. 💙

And… be careful of your judgements.😘