"Hello. This is social services. We have two boys to place. We'd like to place them with you."
The calls are frequently like this. Spur of the moment need to immediately place children.
Later in the afternoon, 7 month old Weldon and 2 year old Burton were dropped off.
The first week to ten days is always the hardest with new placements. Children have few skills to live in families. They are with strangers. They do not know the rules.
These little guys were no exception. They were ravenously hungry. It is the rule that they will be ravenous. Weldon's little belly was so empty, he vomited after eating his first meal. This led to a visit to the after hours clinic to make sure he was healthy. But an empty belly filled too quickly was the cause.
Burton was a wild one. He could not stop moving to sleep. He would get up and run around at all hours of the night. It was an exhausting first week. His language skill were quite developed in the colorful language arena, yet he could not tell us his name. And really Burton is not hard to pronounce at two.
Weldon slept all of the time and his hunger began to abate over the weeks. He was a strong little guy. His smile was beautiful as was his face. At nine months he was standing up independently. We would remind him to just "sit down", and he would. A walking nine month old is not what we wanted right then.
Burton began to develop appropriate words quickly, and conversation was one of his favorite past times. He loved balls of all sorts. He could kick, run and play with the older children much to his delight. After many struggles with his sleep issues, he was put to bed in his shoes with a gate in the doorway that he could not climb at day or night, thus settling him into the much needed sleep his little body needed to relax and grow.
These little guys filled our home with laughter, love and smiles for several months. They grew in social skills. Their parent also grew and accepted the services given. It was not too many months before I loaded the car for the drive to their "home" for the last time. Their parent had proven very capable.
Their's is a story that began mostly due to poverty. Social services really stepped up and provided services as these children were transitioned home in a very appropriate manner. My guess is that there will always be more chaos in their lives than I would choose. But it is their life filled with what makes them unique and special. Weldon and Burton will always hold a special place in our hearts.