I got a call the other day from a social worker trying to place a set of twin 8 month old girls. They are with bio-mom's mother now, but she doesn't think she can manage their care for long. She has till Monday to make a final decision.
So, my concern: I'm not a super baby person! Of course, I knew it was a possibility with our license, and I am looking forward to it, but babies just aren't my strongest area. I liked my own kid when he was a baby (3 yrs, now); but I really can't seem to remember what that was like- except the crying (he had awful colic)!
I feel like a new mom; I've spent tons of time this week on baby sites looking up what 8 month olds need, but I do remember that we hardly followed those things with our own son, so...
I am going to follow up with WIC right away to help with formula; something else I have no experience with.
The other concern I had was behavior expectations; I'd love to hear from other FPs on taking older infants; with the last siblings we could talk to them about the situation. How did your little ones show anxiety at being in their new home, and how did you help them through it?
I should add, we are VERY excited about the prospect; hope this doesn't appear otherwise... just nervous.
Congratulations, in case this does happen. It must be a long weekend for you, assuming the plan is that you will know for sure on Monday.
We foster short term, only. When we started, I expected the babies to be much more difficult than our own child had been. Now that I have fostered (only once) and seen lots of babies in the support group, I have been surprised to feel that most of the babies have actually seemed easier than most of the babies of e.g. my friends. Partly this may have been due to having been on a strict schedule, having been neglected, etc. Many of the foster moms have described the babies by saying that they seemed happy to receive whatever little they were given. This was my own experience, also. (I hope someone here will share a very different experience, though, as I know some here have had foster babies that were very challenging.)
Our foster baby was more than a month younger when she came... She was scared of everything: turning on the faucet, sounds of velcro, loud voices, laughter, anything sudden, hated the car seat. She also seemed very worried when carried. She was not able to fall asleep without being bounced and tried to hand onto my shirt even when asleep. However, in her case these behaviors lasted only a couple of weeks and two months later we sent along a baby happy baby, who was not easily startled by anything.
What a big decision. Twins! One good thing is that by 8 months there shouldn't be issues with colic or overall fussiness due to gastro issues. Do you know anything about what they have experienced so far? (neglect, abuse) Do you have a strong support system and a partner? It could be a great thing. I would worry about them separating twins, such as the GM keeping one and placing the other. Twins have an incredible bond (multiples in general).
Let us know how things turn out!
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My DD went into foster care at eight months and came home to me at nine and a half months. She was an easy-going baby from day one. A lot depends on their prenatal history and their early months before living with grandma.
If you really aren't a "baby person," have you considered turning down the placement?
Thanks for the advise so far!
I reread my OP and think I should clarify; I am super excited about the prospect, I just don't find that babies are my strongest area. I shine with troubled, bratty middle school kids, but until DS is older, we are staying with the little ones. I just have to work a little harder with little ones; they don't come as naturally to me. I should have paid more attention when DS was little; I'm not supposed to be able to have children of my own (technically, DS wasn't supposed to happen), and I think at the time I sort of cheated my way through thinking that I wouldn't have to do this part again, anyway. Maybe its like when you have a big math problem to do and think 'geez, I should have paid more attention in high school math!'
But we are very excited to have them- and ready to learn!!!
Glad to hear some baby experiences were smooth. Don't really know what the girls have experienced, besides neglect. Mom was an IV drug user, and it is remotely possible that the girls were exposed to Hep C during birth. This doesn't concern me (I mean, aside from their own health!). My dad had Hep C and I am very aware of the precautions necessary. Just from the history, I am guessing it is a possibility that they were exposed to drugs during prenatal development, but I don't know anything else yet.
It has been a very nerve-wracking weekend. I wandered around Target looking at baby clothes to get an idea of how tiny they are. I am trying to keep cool until tomorrow... but obviously, I am not doing a very good job with that!
join the MOMS, mothers of multi[ples website and group, lots of advice. I have twins , and it isnt easy but it is a blessing and they need love. God bless you for helping. and you may want to get help, a teenager... a retired lady...
I have to say i LOVED my double stroller. I became a (sorta) twin mom when i was placed with a nearly 12 month old when i had a 15 month old at home already. I took that sucker everywhere. I lived in apartment at the time, and would even load the kids up in the stroller, load up some groceries in the basket, and haul it all from the car to the apartment door (i lived on the first floor.) It was a lifesaver. I know the multiples boards here at MDC probably has tons of threads about the perfect double stroller but i just went to the local Once Upon A Child (childrens resale shop) and bought one (a graco i think) for maybe 70 bucks. They usually have several to choose from and since i wasnt sure how long i'd have "twins" i didnt want to shell out tons of money for a super nice one, it worked fine.
One thing to keep in mind, i know you're worried about having "babies"...but in a few months they wont be babies anymore, they will be TODDLERS which to me is even scarier!
My little foster girl went home but then i was placed with a boy even closer in age, so now i really do have virtual twins (they are two weeks apart.) Its really fun!
The girls move in on the 10th! Queenjane, you are so right that they should be right on that cusp to Toddlerdom. Kind of glad we'll have them just a little before that to get accustomed to them *mostly* in one place, before officially totting around everywhere!
I am hoping to meet them and their grandparents some time next week, then I should have an idea of what they are coming with, and what we'll need to get (the last placement that came to us from grandparents came with lots of their own clothes/toys. I am not expecting that, per se, just not sure).
DH and I have about a week to jam 3 car seats into our Forester!
Thanks for the advice! I will start watching craigslist/thrift stores for double strollers. Our last placement included a 2 year old, and I would occasionally wear him in my sling and put my son in the stroller, just to keep everyone on one place on outings, but that bothered my back. I should be able to wear an 8 month old, though. Think I'll start shopping for a mai-tai type carrier.
I was hesitant to ask our moms to come over (my mom is 2 blocks away, MIL is one block away), because once they do, I don't know how to get them to stop coming over. They have been huge helps since DS was born, but though we get along wonderfully, I find I need a break from them after a while. But, I think I'll go for it and ask my mom, who is retired, to come over during the day for the first week. (I know that sounds really ungrateful, and I don't mean it to be, but mothers are complicated things...)
Just curious is this supposed to be a "just foster" placement or are they leaning more towards it probably becoming an adoptive placement?
just think, now you'll get to hear every.single.time you go out "Are they twins?!?!"
I'm thinking that it is probably going to be a 'just foster' since they have grandparents and aunts and uncles who are functional, 'normal' types. The social worker described the grandmother as a very nice, professional woman who had this one wild daughter, but her other children don't live here.
I am thinking that if reunification doesn't pan out, there probably are family members who will want to step in, but are not in the area to take the kids now. Maybe grandparents will want to try to work out their lives to take them if that is the case.
However, the social worker also said mom has a 'long road', and it sounds like the just entered the system, so it could be a long placement here before anything permanent happens. Our last kids had been in foster care for 16 months before they came to us, and still no closer to a permanent situation (they moved back to grandparents, but still in foster care). Judges here don't seem interested in following federal permanency guidelines.
Congrats on the placement! My girls were 3 months and 5 months. Both transitioned pretty easily. The three month old actually took it harder than the 5 month old. I wore them both a lot in the beginning to promote bonding.
Carly, mama to DS C (5th grade), DD Miss M (07/09, fostered 1/10, adopted 08/10), and Little Miss C (11/10, fostered 01/11, adopted 11/12). Foster Son, Mr. A, age 11 placed 10/13.
My angel babies , ~01/08~ (twins), ~09/08~, and ~01/09~.
Jes, that's a disappointment. You started out hesitant, but then sounded like you were really invested. Sounds like it's been a bit of a rollercoaster.
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Thanks- something about babies gets everyone excited.
I am holding on to the idea that they had a stable place to go (it may be their forever home) so we can be of better use to a couple of kids who don't have that resource.
We're still feeling a little down today. Funny; this wasn't in any way expected to be a permanent place, but expecting them to come for a while, and then not, brought up some of my old infertility dumpy feeling. Maybe just the idea of looking forward to something, and then nothing...
Well. Waiting expectantly for the next call!