Never Certain Until the Ink Dries (Foster Care in 5-7-5)

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Something they told us in foster training: Nothing is certain. When you get involved in foster care, you learn this quickly.

There was one situation that drove this point home. We are able to now look back and find some humor in the ordeal, but not so much at the time. We had said goodbye to our first two (concurrent) placements and took a break for about a month. When we placed ourselves back onto the available home list, we didn’t get any calls for a while. We asked one of our social workers why, and she said we were one of two homes in our tri-county circuit at that time that had the capacity for a large sibling group and they were holding back for that.

No problem. We had the space, we understood. Not long after that, we received a call: “We have a sibling group of five that we’re planning on placing with you in the next couple of weeks.”

Got it. We set to work prepping the house. We bought a couple more bed frames, secured some donated mattresses, and started shopping for a vehicle that could comfortably seat seven people. Shortly before we completed the purchase of a 8-passenger SUV, we received another call: “Actually, we’re not going to move the children at this time.”

Okie doke. Glad we didn’t buy that car.

A month passes, and we receive another call: “We are for sure moving the children. We need to arrange for you to pick them up on Friday. We have a meeting on Thursday, but that is just a formality. They are coming to your home.”

We already had the beds and crib set up. We set out car shopping again. This time, we secure a vehicle that can seat seven. We stock up on some supplies and get the house ready. The Thursday meeting comes, I attend, and it doesn’t take long for me to realize the final pronouncement: Never mind. They’re not moving the children after all.

Needless to say, we were frustrated, along with some other people, and especially because we bought a car (albeit used). We were reminded: Nothing is set in stone until it happens. The ink has to dry on the paper.

A few weeks later, we said yes to and received a sibling set of two who stayed with us eight months and then reunified. We also found out we were expecting a biological child. It was a roller coaster for a couple of months, but that tends to be foster care in general.

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