This afternoon, as Dan woke for his night shift 800 miles away, he received my text that we were taking in a seven year old boy for a few days.
“He’s cute,” I said. “I want to keep him.”
I like to harass Dan with such statements from afar. I can imagine his hair falling out with each word. It freaks him out when I say these things…he can never tell when I’m serious. Usually, I’m serious…and he knows this. But when I texted the circumstances surrounding the boys placement, Dan responded with, “Spoil him rotten. Give him a pony.”
Well, that ruined all my fun.
With each adoption we both adamantly claim we’re DONE with fostering. We put our foot down…to each other…and dare the other to even mention taking any more kids. What part of ‘no more kids’didn’t you understand, Dan said with the last ten placements. The ‘no more kids’ part, I tell him with a smile.
Each of our kids…and kids of our past…have come to us in different manners, from different histories. And except the ‘emergencies’ like this one today, they’ve each come after a memorable conversation.
We once got a call at five a.m. from a worker who asked if we would be willing to take two kids. One two months and one eighteen months. “But there’s a catch,” she said. “The baby is HIV positive.”
In my half awake state I said, “Let me go ask Dan. He’s the stay at home parent right now.”
A few minutes later I arrived back at the phone. “He’s nervous about the baby…he’s not sure about having a newborn.”
“Her age?” the tired caseworker said. “He’s worried about her age…not her HIV?”
I guess they didn’t get a lot of that.
When we were asked to pick up Anthony four years ago, it was an emergency situation. His prior foster parent had dropped him off at the children’s service office and said, “NOT ONE MORE NIGHT.”
Apparently he wasn’t the sweetie-pie for her that he is for us….cough, cough…ahem. I called Dan, told him the situation. We talked, we discussed, we hummed and hawed. Finally Dan said, “I don’t know why we’re talking about it. We both know we’re going to say yes.” And so Anthony, the socialist dictator, was added to our family.
By far, though, my favorite placements are the ones that happen while some member of the family is gone. It’s always fun to spring it on someone.
Like tonight, when Billy comes in off the boat, he’ll go straight to bed. Tomorrow morning he’ll wake and there will be one more small boy than usual. And won’t he be surprised! Wait…no he won’t…cause in this family, nothing is surprising at all.