Sunday, April 21, 2013

Another child, not my own.

Last week Thursday was Lucy's birthday, and on the same day that we were celebrating her birth, another baby was being born at the very same hospital she had been, under very different circumstances. On Friday, as we were loading up Lucy's friends in the car for a sleepover, my phone rang. 

Because my phone battery is always almost dead by dinnertime, it was plugged into the car charger, and I keep that charger's cord coiled and secured with Velcro so it doesn't get wrapped around the gear shift, or jammed in the tracks of the seat so that I can't move the seat closer to the steering wheel. (It is critically important that I be able to move the seat as close as physically possible to the steering wheel - so close that I can barely fit my knees under the dash - because when I drive at night I need to be able to clutch the steering wheel and peer over it through the dashboard like my 98 year old great grandmother Mabel who drove a Dodge Dart with 3 pillows and phone book under her ass so she could see where she was going. I am not 98, and I don't need the pillows - but I do have a tendency to get real close to the wheel and peer over it, because I never remember to bring my glasses with me in the car.

MY POINT IS, my phone was connected to the console by a short cord, and so to answer it Sam needed to bend forward with his forehead practically touching the dashboard. And because he is not 100% sure how to use my phone (because it is not a clamshell-style flip phone from 1998) he tends to press the touch screen a few times and then just sort of shout at it. 

So there he was, bent double in the front seat, shouting into a phone that was attached to the console by a wire about 6" long. Luckily he had managed to turn on the speakerphone during the course of his attempt to answer the call, so I could hear everything that was going on as I drove.

It was our social worker, and he was calling to make sure we were home, because he had a baby for us.

Now, in our family we get these calls on a semi-regular basis. We have been foster parents for the state for over 10 years, and that's how this happens - you get a call, and if you are lucky about 24 hours notice to get your life in order. Because at that moment we were about to host a sleepover, I didn't have a lot of time to chat. 

Sam, meanwhile, was trying to convince the worker that they didn't want us to take the baby because I was too busy. I put a stop to that nonsense. 

Yes, we would take the baby. Yes, we knew the social worker who would be calling us over the weekend. Yes, of course. Yes, no problem. Yes, absolutely. The worker hung up and without even looking at Sam, I said "It's fine. Hang up the phone."

He looked at me from between the seats, where he was still holding the phone to his head - even though it was on speaker phone. He sat up and looked over his shoulder at the six girls shrieking and giggling in the back of the Suburban we had rented for the occasion. And he shook his head and sighed, and started pressing on the touch screen trying to hang up the call.

Friday night passed in a whirlwind of top 40 singalongs, ice cream sundaes and late night whispers. In the morning the girls were collected by their parents, and headed home exhausted and strung out on bacon and red velvet tea. Saturday afternoon we took Lucy to lunch and bought the elusive bath bomb, and I had pretty much forgotten that we were waiting for a phone call. But as we headed home the phone rang. The social worker was heading to the hospital, were we ready? All I wanted to know was if I had time to go to Costco. Because chances were very good I wasn't going to get there again for a while.

Guys, meet Leo.

I'll write more when I have the chance, but just know that with all of the craziness in the world this past week, my craziness quotient was once again dialed up to an 11.


Jennifer said...

Oh so cute!!! I love the story of how he came to you! Your husband sounds like mine...saying no for me and then I say yes no problem too. Haha! Have a great time snuggling him.

vmdesign said...

You two are amazing for just dropping everything for these babies. They are so blessed to have you, even for just a little while.

Peach said...

Hello, Leo. You couldn't have found better arms to rest in for awhile. You're a lucky little man. xox