Enter Robby. We had been fostering for a little over 3 months when we got the call for our very first newborn. We had never parented a newborn before, and despite already parenting Mathieu and a few other children through fostering, I was nervous!
Four days after his birth we were given the ok to pick him up from the hospital. I have been told I do things “differently” sometimes, so on the way to the hospital I realized I would need a double stroller. Mathieu was only 18 months old and having a toddler loose in the hospital would not have been appropriate, especially in the NICU. For some reason I was still acting like a new parent (aka clueless) about these types of things. Looking back I could have just carried Robby in his infant seat out, and left Mathieu in the stroller, but in the rush of it I clearly didn’t think these things through!
I brought my single stroller to a local baby store, where I traded it in for a brand new double stroller. I had them set it up and left the store with it, ready to go.
When we arrived at the hospital I could tell the staff were confused. I would come to discover that we were VERY young foster parents. In fact, we won youngest foster parents for several years in a row at our local fostering gala’s. They phoned the social workers to double check I was who I said I was, then reluctantly handed him over. They gave me some details on belly button care, which I knew nothing about, and showed me how to properly buckle a newborn into a car seat. I was thankful for this new information.
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I fell in love with Robby the second I met him. How could I not? He was so tiny and precious! He had long fingers and an old man face and was a pure bundle of joy.
We drove home and began our new life parenting a toddler and a newborn. I want this to be the part where I say it was easy and we settled right in. Unfortunately, the sweet little guy had colic. He also had major acid re-flux issues which meant he spat up ALL the time. I could hardly keep enough laundry clean. After feeding, he had to stay upright for 30 minutes, and even once he began solid foods we had to add thickener to his foods and keep him upright in his high chair for 30 minutes after he was done. Try keeping a little baby happy in his high chair for 30 minutes every meal. Not easy.
We also started noticing several delays consistent with FASD. The facial features were present and his speech was behind.
Despite some of these challenges, Robby was the sweetest little guy with the cutest smile. He was snuggly, affectionate and loved to play with his big brother. We soaked up every minute with him and loved parenting our two little guys together.
When he was 11 months old he went CCO, which meant his parents no longer had their parental rights for him. We were asked if we wanted to adopt him and immediately said yes. We loved him so much and couldn’t imagine our life without him.
The next day, we got a phone call. Robby’s mother was pregnant, and due to her situation, the new baby would be apprehended as well. For the first time ever we awaited the birth of a new child. To read that story click here.
A year after Robby turned CCO, we were finally able to adopt him. he was almost 2 years old and getting cuter by the second. The day had finally arrived in which we could call him a Preston, and Mathieu was over the moon at gaining a lifelong brother.
Today Robby is 11 years old and doing so well! He loves parkour, minecraft, coloring, and drawing. He has a desire to look out for his younger brothers and sisters and takes his big brother role very seriously. He also has a special place for animals and enjoys reading new books. Although he did ultimately get a diagnosis of FASD, he manages really well in school and in many aspects of his life. Much of my blog I will devote to the various aspects of FASD and parenting, but what I can whole heartedly say is I am so thankful we were given the opportunity to take care of Robby those early days of his life and ultimately blessed to call him our son. He has an infectious smile, the cutest freckles, an adorable giggle, and if Mathieu isn’t there to remind him, I can still get him to hold my hand when out and about. We love him!!
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