Wednesday, Feb 3, 3:30pm: Sandy, from Family Services, calls to see if we are available for a newborn placement. She doesn't have any details, except that the baby was born the day before and looks like she will be released from the hospital on Friday. I say, yes!, we are available.
5:30pm: Cathy, from Family Services, calls to give us more details. Baby F's mom didn't get prenatal care, so they are observing baby to make sure she's ok, so far so good, and on track for a Friday release. She explained the logistics of a "non-custodial respite" situation, which they were trying to arrange. Basically, the baby is still in the custody of her parents, but we will care for her for up to 30 days to give the parents and the county time to put a plan together for her to go home. This is a best-case scenario where the parents are willing and mostly capable to parent, but need a little more help. If, after 30 days, the plan needs more time, the county takes the baby into their custody (she remains with us) and the parents continue to work on the plan. Giving the parents the option of a non-custodial respite gives them confidence in themselves and the system that nobody is trying to take away their baby and that they are going to get the help they need. We'll learn more tomorrow.
We can't really call or tell anyone at this point because it is so uncertain. We've been in a similar place before and the baby ended up going to his grandma- a great solution! I do call one friend who has a baby car seat and bassinet to see if she's available for me to come get them on Thursday.
Thursday, Feb 4, 11:30am: Cathy calls, says Baby F is showing some concerning symptoms and she'll be staying at the hospital until Monday. She says she's 95% confident we will get her, but there's always some chance a random aunt or grandma will turn up. At this point the only family member the mother called hung up on her.
1pm: I am at my friends house for lunch. Friends who just happen to have twin girls about to turn one. I ask them if I can borrow some newborn items and they start loading me up with clothes, blankets, equipment and advice.
2pm: I realize my phone has been going off. 4 missed calls from Cathy and John. Turns out Baby F is doing might fine and they are releasing her today. Can they drop her off around 4:30? Oh yes of course! Friends load nursery starter set into my car. I race to other friend's to get bassinet and car seat and she also loads me up with clothes and gear.
In the midst of this, DC is preparing for "snowpocalypse" and I have no time to go to the grocery store. Hero husband leaves work early and heads to store to buy things like Simulac and Dreft, as well as bread and milk (like everyone else in the world!).
4pm: Cathy calls, says CPS worker is going to go get dinner before getting the baby, so she'll be late. Fine with me as I'm still racing to get car unloaded and stairs vacuumed (somehow, that's very important right now!).
5pm: Groceries put away. Kitchen clean. Dog safely tucked in John's man cave. We pray and talk about how we should best communicate with each other when we are getting overwhelmed about this. (Can I just say how much I love my husband and how grateful I am for our friendship/marriage?)
5:30pm: CPS worker arrives with Baby F. She brings a bag of clothes and gear donated by a local charity, and some diapers and formula from the hospital. She has us sign some paperwork, tells us to bring Baby F to a doctor's appointment Friday and is gone by 5:45.
There's a little baby in our house! What in the world?!
To be continued....