foster care

Weekend Warriors

Before becoming insta-family of 5 or insta-mommy to 3, we had Fiona on weekends only. We started with every other weekend. We’d make it an event. We did the water park, the playground, the library, the mall play area when it rained all weekend long. We went to festivals and farmer’s markets. We had a lot of fun but I worried that Fiona would think it was all fun in our household.

The first few overnights, there were tears each and every night. She’d cry herself to sleep.

She needed to be dressed. She couldn’t dress herself, put her socks on or her shoes. Every little detail required help. She didn’t flush the toilet. She didn’t turn lights off. She didn’t close doors.

Nag, nag, nag, nag. . .

She and Mason fought for our attention. They’d be by my side constantly. Mommy. Mommy. Mommy. Mommy. Yes- Fiona called us Mommy and Daddy immediately because we were Mason’s “Mommy and Daddy.” Some think that’s wrong, but as far as Mason understood, women were Mommys and men were Daddys.

Joe and I had a push – pull argument. Should we take Fiona? Is it too hard? Can we handle 3? The answers in order: yes, yes, no.

We went to a local festival with a friend and her two year old. We were getting food for five, pushing a stroller through gravel, and trying to find a picnic bench in the shade when I turn around and realize Fiona was missing. It was the longest ten minutes of my life. At that point, Fiona couldn’t say our first names- never mind our last, or a phone number. We had no proof she was our child or in our custody. I ran around screaming her name at the top of my lungs. A mother wound up bringing her back to us (Joe was standing in one place with the stroller.)

That was the exact point when I realized I was attached. I got down on her level, held her shoulders, and told her teary eyed never to do that again. She scared me.

After that, I think she attached too. I really became Mommy.

Another thing, after that I put laminated index cards in their pockets with my name and phone number. . . just in case!