I wonder if I will ever get used to the middle of the night phone call thing. When it happened around 4:00 am the morning after Halloween, The Dad ran to grab the phone which had been left off the base somewhere in the living room. My heart raced with my eyes still closed as my thoughts immediately went to my father. Was he alright? Would I be on a plane by morning? Then I heard him say, “Ok, what have we got?”. Then I remembered this whole emergency foster care thing.
“Ok, so… newborn twins… a two year old… hmmm, well… let me put my wife on.”
I bolted upright and cleared my throat. It was hard to think clearly with the left over adrenaline from my first thought. I took the phone and tried to process what the calm and authoritative voice was saying.
“We have an urgent situation, I apologize for calling so early. I have newborn twins and a two year old girl. One of the twins has (insert confidential medical information here) and we are extremely understaffed here.” She explained that they had already been medically cleared and brought to the emergency children’s shelter about 40 minutes away, instead of waiting at the local emergency room for foster parents to arrive. I hesitated, and said, “Ok… ok, I can absolutely take the two year old if they are to be separated.” Once I had said it, I knew it was true, and it was all I could do.
She said, “Wonderful”.
The Dad nodded and went out to start the coffee while I spun in circles trying to find some jeans. I went into the garage and found the bin carefully labeled “GIRL, 2T”. I grabbed a stuffed bunny and and stuffed hippo. Soft, pink blanket. Warm pajamas. Juiceboox and granola bar. Within about nine minutes, I was dressed and semi-ready and on my way out the door, coffee in hand.
I swear, The Dog seemed to know something was up.