What do/did you do?
I realize this visit is purely for mom and baby and so has nothing to do with me, but I'm still a little nervous.
Did your agency give you any ideas? Every state/visitation center is different, so it is hard to know. My only suggestion is to pack a diaper bag to go to the baby with the visit. I can't remember how old your baby is, but a few toys, diapers, a bottle, wipes, a snack if the baby is older. There is a very good chance the mom will want to meet you, so would follow the lead of the staff at the center.
Every kid in foster care has a different story, but just meeting the mom with no identifying info does no seem scary to me. I am sorry I remember no details, but is your foster baby going home in the near future or is there talk of TPR?
And I just have to add, I see you have an Evelyn too! Can't believe how many Evelyns I hear about.
I always brought the baby in and chatted with mom for a few minutes. I'd smile and tell mom how sweet and precious her baby was, update her on baby's development, and ask her if she had any questions or concerns she wanted to share with me. Mom ended up liking us, and she let us babysit several times after baby went back home. It really helped ease my heartbreak and worry.
When i fostered, it was protocol for the FPs to drive the child to the agency and sit in the waiting room during the visit. There was plenty of opportunity for contact with the bparent and conversations were encouraged unless there was a reason to avoid that. Towards the end of our case my fs' bmom was choosing to have her visits in the larger waiting room with my other son and me rather than take D back to the tiny parent visiting room in the back. With his bdad, it was much less conversation, he rarely said two words to me and we didnt get much of a chance to develop a relationship. It can be VERY uncomfortable, but if you get the chance i'd go ahead and take her and try to talk with the mom if you can. Its a little weird, like when my fs would run to me for this and that, and i would try to direct him back "your mom can tie that shoe for you...your mom can change your diaper" so that she didnt feel like i was taking her place. I think she was happy that at least her kids were with someone she thought she could trust not to hurt them.
I decided to go in and meet her. The CPS worker kept telling me I didn't have to, she would come out and get the baby, but if I really wanted to that it was up to me. So, I did go in and the mother seemed very happy to have spoken with me. I just didn't want to start out with any sort of tension by not talking to her. I feel like it went very well :)
Thats great. Honestly, having had those visits getting to know my kids' mom (and to a lesser extent, my son's dad) continues to be very helpful even now after they are adopted. I can tell my daughter positive things about her bmom firsthand, and at the same time i also have first hand knowledge of the bad stuff too. I didnt have to rely on just info from some child history form, or some hearsay from a worker. And when my kids make a certain expression i can see their other mom in them and thats something really invaluable. So if you do end up adopting the child the benefits to having met the bparent are also there.
I was nervous both times I had to meet DD's birth parents. The visits always ended up going well and I am glad I had the opportunity to meet DD's birth mom before the adoption. The other DD I have been to the visits twice. The birth parents have said how grateful they are that we have their DD.