Saturday, September 20, 2014

Foster Mom Guilt

I get the call at least once a week, "Hey Nicole, it's Samantha, wondering if you want to hear about a possible placement for today?" I've never met Samantha, couldn't even tell you what part of the state she is in, but I know the number she calls from. That phone number haunts me. I wish I could take every child that comes across my caller id, but I can't. This week was tougher than most.

I got a call for a brand new baby, and I would have to pick it (I say "it" for privacy reasons) up from the hospital. How could I say no, right? The baby in question tested positive for drugs after birth, and that means that baby would be going through withdrawals. I wasn't Samantha's first call, she knows that I have little ones, but she thought she would give it a shot. I said no, and I've been sick to my stomach ever since.

There is a part of me that wishes I would have taken that baby, brought it into our loving home and given it the best possible start considering the circumstances. Then there is a part of me that thinks of my boys, how could I bring a baby who will be extremely needy into our house knowing that I will not be able to give as much attention to them anymore. I had to do what was right for my family.

I try to make myself feel better by saying that there are other foster families out there that will jump at that opportunity, but I know how short the state is. Foster families are far and few anymore. Most good homes are at capacity or over and then there are families like mine, just not willing to take a placement right now. Shelter is always full. Every time I've picked kids up from there, there are always at least 20 kids that haven't gotten placed in a home. And yes, they have cribs. Breaks my heart every single time.

So I sit here, with this foster mom guilt. Hoping and praying that the brand new baby found a good, safe place to call home for now, but knowing I'll never know.

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