Thursday, October 18, 2012

Amanda's arrival

We got a call that a 15-month-old little girl, Amanda, was in need of an emergency placement and was being removed by officials quickly and they needed to find her a home.  We were told that if we accepted this little girl, she’d be here in two hours.  All we knew was her age and that she may be developmentally slow.

I made the executive decision on behalf of my husband and I and said yes, we are here for Amanda!

I quickly realized, we were not prepared for a 15-month-old baby but we’d be as ready as we could for her because time was running out and she’d be at our front door soon.  I rushed upstairs to our little girls’ room and found what I thought would be baby safe toys that Olivia and Claire use to play with and made Amanda a small little play area in the corner of our dining room with a pink baby blanket laying on the floor with baby appropriate toys to welcome her. 

The door bell rang; once again I was filled with nervousness, sadness and excitement. I was nervous because I want to be the best mom ever, I was sad because I knew her situation was dangerous and not safe for her, and I was excited at the chance to let her be loved and the chance to blossom and have a wonderful life with our family. 

When I saw her, I noticed her beautiful eyes and dark brown hair. She was scared, she had been whisked away by strangers and now she’s landing in our home with one small red bag of items that were donated by a local agency.  As we found a spot to do all of the necessary paper work, she became glued to the CPS Investigator and cried when she left our home. She had become so attached to the Investigator after only knowing her for such a short time.

Bedtime was a bit of a challenge for her. I had no idea if she slept with a pacifier, slept on her tummy or back, did she need a night light, soft music, did she have a favorite stuffed animal, did she fall asleep to her family singing her lullabies? What were her routines that made her feel safe? What am I to do? We tried everything possible. She eventually went to sleep and slept so long that, we had to wake her up at 9:15am.

While we may not know every little thing about her and what her routines were before she came here, we are making our own.  She now sleeps with a small night light and the sounds of a stream quietly playing and I still have to wake her up in the morning and she now wakes up with the biggest smile.

Christy Benson is director of Clinical Informatics Analysis & Measurement for Texas Health Resources, Mom to two boys and foster Mom.

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