Well, I still have Dreft left, but I got The Call today.
"Anna" (our agency caseworker) called. She started out with pleasantries -- How's Lucy doing? Did your big kids start school this week? -- but quickly moved on to "I guess you know why I'm calling."
We're not sure exactly when she was born, but sometime in the last few days. We don't know her name yet. For now, I'm mentally calling her Baby Sister.
She was early, but we don't know by how much.
She (and Kayla) tested positive for substances that they should not have in their bodies right now. (Kayla is claiming it must be the meds given her in the hospital for labor pain, which is exactly what she said when Lucy was born, too. That's because the drug that she finds the most hard to give up is a prescription painkiller, but what she fails to understand or remember is that the drug she abuses is part of a family of drugs that is never given to laboring mothers.)
At the moment, Baby Sis is staying in the NICU. She's showing no symptoms of withdrawal yet (a good sign), but the hospital plans to monitor her for a while before considering discharge. Also, since we aren't sure how early she is -- or how big she is -- there may be preemie reasons to keep her in the hospital as well.
Anna got the call from the county caseworker as a professional courtesy and a feeler. Caseworker didn't know exactly when they'd be looking for an actual placement -- they don't know yet when Baby Sister can leave the hospital and they don't usually even start looking for a foster home until they have a discharge date -- but she knew our agency had a family that recently adopted a sibling. Would we be available and/or interested? Anna was able to say we might be, but wise enough to ask for more information.
So many things we don't know: Are there any concerns about her development? What are they? (That may or may not be a dealbreaker; it honestly depends on what the concerns are.) Will the county even attempt reunification this time? (Again, may or may not make a difference, but would be nice to know.) Is it the same father? How early is she? What was the drug? What hospital? Can we come visit if she's in the NICU for a while? When are we looking at placement?
Anna is waiting for a call back with those answers and will call me when she gets them. She doesn't expect to get them quickly -- this is pretty low on the caseworker's priority list until she has a discharge date. Meanwhile, I'm in a bit of a nesting, cleaning frenzy and mostly feeling excited at the idea that Lucy might get to grow up with a sibling near her age. I haven't told anyone except Mr D who is feeling a bit like we're having a surprise pregnancy. We still plan to tell no one until we have more details and know for sure she is coming. Or as for sure as foster care gets.