I came across an article that was promoting helping in the foster system. It acknowledged that not everyone is called to open up their home to a foster child. But even without taking a child in, there is SO, SO much you can do.
When I first welcomed little one in my home, it was hard. Even though it wasn’t a “newborn”, we still welcomed a new child into our home. I was given just under 24 hours to run to the store and get diapers, food and milk. I went through HJ’s old clothes that “might” fit him (since I didn’t know his size), and threw them in the wash. I put sheets in the trip and pulled out age appropriate toys. A neighbor has kind enough to loan me some “toddler proofing items”, and another foster family gave me their baby gate.
I was also lucky enough that my community has a foster organization called Kaden’s Kloset. I was able to go there and get a high chair, car seat, a few toys and clothes. They even gave me a first night bag with pajamas, a stuffed animal and some diapers.
I felt ready with all the necessities, but trying to get a hang of a new schedule took a few more weeks. I don’t think I cooked for 5 days. I had a confused child who needed extra focused attention for a while. I had a 7-year-old who was suddenly learning to be a big brother in a span of a day. And as a mom of 2, I felt like my life was in chaos.
I even called a house cleaner.
Besides all the essentials new foster families might need, they also need things like your typical new moms do. Volunteer to bring dinner, come over and hang out, offer to take the older child for a while. My hardest things to get under control were meals and house cleaning.
After about a month, I felt like we were on a good, consistent schedule. But then come other things… like out growing clothes :).
I was also lucky enough to be put in touch with an amazing photographer. She recently took professional photos of little one, so I can give them to his mom for a Mother’s Day gift.
And I have met fantastic foster families that help with babysitting when I need it.
It truly does take a village to raise a child.