After a few months to take a step back and process our two foster placements this sumer, I have figured out a few things:
1. If I would have known my preemie Baby Sage was born methadone positive, I probably would not have agreed to the placement. I have good friends in the social welfare system and when they heard about the baby, they told me to ask about blood toxicology. I called the agency and of course was told that aside from being premature, the baby was absolutely normal and healthy.
2. Premature babies born withdrawing from methadone require special care...MAINLY, they need to be held a lot. They cry A LOT. They do not sleep at night. Many of them have a "baaah baaaahh" cry like a baby sheep. It is heart-breaking. When Baby Sage was trembling and almost levitating off of the bassinet mattress because his tremors were so bad, I did not know what to do. Sorry, Agency...MAPP classes did not go into this at all.
3. Instinctively, I wrapped him and held him tight. But as a foster parent, we are not supposed to sleep with the babies and I understand why. But how do you leave a screaming, withdrawing baby on his own in a bassinet. Let's not talk about the darting eyes, which scared me down to my core and the multiple sneezes...say, 11 in a row. My poor baby Sage.
4. No, I was not informed or prepared to deal with that. My heart was in the right place. That it was. I would still be willing and ABLE to make a home for a baby (not withdrawing from drugs, not preemie) in our home. While he was here, Sage was loved endlessly by me and my daughter who fed him, held him, hugged him and loved on him. I am so proud of her.
After Sage's interrupted placement, I went up to Homefinding at the agency just to check in and talk. What did I hear?
"We thought you wanted a baby! Didn't you know babies DON'T SLEEP?!" Um, yeah, I had a baby nine years ago, remember ladies. I'm a single mom and basically always was.
I should have reminded them of the fact that they did not know or rather they did not tell me that he was born methadone positive. That was a big one.
When I texted Baby Sage's social worker (who up until last week was still sending me photos of him) that I have decided to leave the agency and why, she simply wrote back one line:
"You need to do what is best for you and your family." Gee, thanks, Sister. I have blocked her number. I said a prayer for Sage and have prayed God will watch over him, blessing him and protecting him always.
As for that agency...It's time to move on.
Stay tuned for Part II of the Baby Sage saga and the LITTLE MISS saga (our second placement). That too, was also a doozy.