Dare Bear went home on March 9th. Court was the 17th. Everything went according to plan and he was officially gone from our home. There was relief and disbelief. Relief that he was home with his mom. Disbelief that he wasn't with us anymore. His whole case had been a back and forth, a big question mark. Is he going or staying? My heart was raw. I missed him desperately.
And I missed parenting. Parenting is FUN.
We met with our worker the following Monday to discuss how we would like to move forward. Initially the plan was to have a month to grieve before accepting a new placement. He was suppose to go home mid February, so by late March we were planning on being open to another placement. Except he didn't go home in February. He was with us and I didn't want to wait another month. I was ready to move forward. So, we decided to wait just until the end of March.
March 31st I receive an email. Usually it would have been a phone call, but I was out of town. There is a newborn needing a home. He was born Easter weekend. It would most likely be a foster placement not a 'resource' placement (placement that could lead to adoption). He was a tiny one, born a bit early. There was the potential for health complications. Like any information I receive in the initial contact, about half turned out to be wrong or misleading. I rushed home and G-Man and I discussed it for a day and a half. Then we agreed. We agreed before even talking to any one at Family and Children Services directly. We never thought we would do that but this baby needed a home and we had one to give.
On April 4th, our little Skywalker joined us. We had to learn all about newborns, preemies really. Luckily, in the beginning, he slept quite a bit so it gave us time to get our bearings. About 2 weeks in, we were in love and slowly finding our new normal. Of course, just as soon as we found this 'new normal,' Skywalker would start changing on us.
The beginning of a new placement is challenging. There are many appointments, constantly changing information, new workers to meet, new doctors to work with, new parents to get comfortable with, new visit schedules and routines AND, most importantly, a new little person to get to know and take care off.
By May 4th, we were celebrating Skywalker being with us for one whole month. This felt like a big deal. We survived a month of parenting a newborn. He was growing and smiling (!). We survived all the beginning challenges. We'd developed a good relationship with his parents. His situation was becoming less foggy. And we were in love with a sweet, mischievous little baby boy. We were settling in. Skywalker, we were told, will probably be with us for around a year.
Two months ago we were saying our final goodbyes to our Dare Bear. Now we were holding our new little baby, feeling hope grow again in the middle of our grief.
I was completely unaware that by that evening, the ground under our feet would fall away.