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A few days after our son Robby turned CCO in June, we got a phone call that his birth mother was pregnant again and due in January. Due to her unique circumstances the baby would be apprehended at birth and we were asked if we wanted to take the new baby. We of course said yes and went on with our lives while we waited. (I later discovered I had a fluky blue camera…hence the blue period below)
In July, we got a phone call to foster a little baby that had just been born. She was 4 days old and only weighed 4lbs! We had never parented such a tiny little baby, and finding anything that would fit her proved difficult! Preemie clothes were not as readily available back then so I drove a couple towns away to find any clothes I could.
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Before we realized it, this tiny little baby had grown significantly, in fact, she was one of the chubbiest babies we had seen! By the time she was 5 months old she could hardly sit in an upright position because she couldn’t bend! She was the cutest thing though, and smiled and laughed all the time. The plan was for her to move to another foster home in December who had her siblings and planned on adopting all of them. Due to the usual bureaucratic hold ups, she never made it to her new home that month. By the end of January, both myself and her new foster mom were getting VERY anxious about it all. Her mom wanted her home, and I wanted to make sure I was available for Robby’s younger sibling who might be born any day!
By the end of the month we received the wonderful news that a little girl had been born! We would later change her name to Alaina, so I will refer to her as Alaina now. Our sweet other foster daughter, however, had still not moved to her forever home. The social workers, despite knowing that the plan was to adopt Alaina, decided to put her in a different foster home until our other little girl was gone. To this day, I still don’t understand why they made that decision. We begged and pleaded and said we could manage all 4 kids, and tried to explain the importance of early child attachment, but it fell on deaf ears. I decided it was time to start fighting to get our children home, so I phoned the other foster mom and we made a plan. We both made a bunch of phone calls up the chain of management and fought for us to each have our children home with us. Finally, after 2 weeks, we got the good news that our little foster daughter would be moving to her forever home the next day. The social worker said we needed to book a time for Alaina to move to our home and suggested a date a couple weeks away, stating it would allow us some down time.
I calmly explained that we didn’t need any down time and just wanted to start the attachment process, so the next day our foster daughter left at noon and I picked up Alaina from her foster home at 1pm. I still get sad thinking we missed out on those first two weeks of life for her, have no newborn photos, and weren’t even allowed to visit her. But so goes the foster care system. I am just thankful she finally made it home to us.
It didn’t take long before Alaina was officially adopted by us. As a lover of all things pink, I have to say that I was tickled to parent my first girl. I only dressed her in pinks and purples her first few months as I got used to being able to buy girls clothes. I did eventually incorporate all the colors in her wardrobe, but it took me a while.
She was the smiliest, sweetest baby. I wish I could share photos from her early months but our computer died that once held those photos.
Although Alaina’s journey is different than Robby’s, with less initial delays, she did end up with an FASD diagnosis as well. Her struggles are mostly related to academics, hyperactivity and understanding boundaries. She has an aid at school that helps with her daily routine but has lots of friends whom she loves playing with.
Today Alaina is 9 years old and beautiful inside and out. She is a tomboy, and enjoys getting rough and tough with her brothers and the boys at school. She enjoys sports and is very athletic. She also loves dancing and cheer and can be found dancing throughout the house most days. She recently outgrew dresses and has now become very interested in fashion and what she wears. She loves babies, loves helping mom and dad, and gives the best snuggles and hugs! We have been so blessed to have her as a daughter and I am thankful we were able to keep Robby and Alaina together in a system that often sees siblings separated. We love her to bits!
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