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10 Ways That 2 Foster Kids Are Different Than 1

I never intended to have two babies four months apart. In fact, I wasn’t going to even foster again. After deciding that I was ready to adopt, I told my foster agency I was only available to take a child who was clearly on the adoption track. I had a toddler in mind because my apartment didn’t meet the space regulations for an older child. Then Hurricane Sandy happened.

Hurricane Sandy resulted in both of my job sites being flooded and closed indefinitely. My local means of transportation, the G train, was also closed and the city couldn’t promise a date for service to return. Fortunately, I had electricity, air conditioning and Netflix. However, my previous neighborhood in which I had three foster care babies at different times, was without power. The days passed. I watched all of the movies in my cue. More days passed and I began to think about foster homes in the city without electricity. How are they doing? How would I be doing if I had a foster child right now? I decided to call my foster agency and left the home-finding director a message stated that I had electricity and was willing to take a few foster kids, or an entire foster family, for a few days.

By midnight my phone was ringing and I was asked if I had a crib. Nope.  The caller told me to try to get one by noon tomorrow. After a little help from Craigslist, a rented a car and my friend Deepa, I had a crib and newborn “Sandy” was delivered to me straight from the hospital.  She’s still with me today.

Needless to say, my dream available-for-straight-adoption baby came just a few months later. I initially said no given that my hands were plenty full with Sandy. But after some urging from the case workers at the foster agency who knew me well and close friends who insisted they’d help out, I agreed to take another newborn. I don’t recommend working full-time and having two babies so far we’re all hanging in there. If it ever becomes an option to adopt Sandy as well, I will in a heartbeat.

  • Double the phone calls 1 of 10
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    Double the phone calls. From Early Intervention to case workers, the phone calls are constant.

    Photo: istock.com

  • Multiple NYC boroughs 2 of 10
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    Although New York city intends to place foster children in the same borough (large neighborhood) where they're originally from, I've yet to have a foster child from my own borough. Children have been placed with me from the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn. This means long commutes to court and, at least in the beginning, treks out to their doctors' appointments until I find a closer specialist to meet their needs.

    Photo: wikitravel.org

  • Twice as many case workers 3 of 10
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    Two foster kids also means two case workers. Case workers vary greatly in professional styles with each requesting different documents and procedures.

    Photo: istock.com

  • An additional legal team 4 of 10
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    Each child has their own attorney and their own court case. Each child's biological parent has an attorney and the prosecuting city government has an attorney. With two unrelated foster children, this is 6+ attorneys that I may be in communication with on any given day.

    Photo: istock.com

  • Double the cultural backgrounds to learn and celebrate 5 of 10
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    While I have experience in trying to keep my foster children closely linked to their African-American heritage, my new (almost adopted) daughter is half Jewish and half Puerto Rican—two cultures that have distinct and very proud traditions that I will do my best to keep her a part of.
    Photo: morguefile.com
  • Two biological familes to keep happy 6 of 10
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    Foster parents are encouraged to be a bridge toward reunification of foster children and their biological family. As a result, small efforts like dressing the children for visits in a style that the parent prefers can play a significant part. I also have to learn when to step back and let things go.

    Photo: morguefile.com

  • Two heads of hair 7 of 10
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    Hair plays an important role in most cultures, particularly among girls. Learning to care for and style girls' hair is serious business in foster care.

    Photo: morguefile.com

  • Twice as much uncertainty 8 of 10
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    Foster parents are asked to be prepared to both adopt AND return the child to their biological family. In many cases, it takes years for the courts to decide what the permanency plan is going to be. Two foster kids equals twice the uncertainty.

    Photo: morguefile.com

  • Possibly two different routines 9 of 10
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    It's hard to know what, if any, routine a baby had before coming to my home. With my current foster children being only 4 months apart, it's inevitable that they have two different routines to meet their developmental eating and sleeping needs.

    Photo: morguefile.com

  • Double the fun! 10 of 10
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    Despite all of the uncertainty and extra work that goes into fostering two children, having two babies bring hilariously fun times.

    Photo: istock.com

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Also from Rebecca this month: 10 Steps I Take to Avoid Co-sleeping With My Baby

Learning to Let Got When My Daughter is Fed Fast Food

9 Baby Products I Wanted to Hate But Actually Love

You can also follow Rebecca on her blog here.

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