We set up the visit by email with Baby's foster mom. We arranged for Brother and Sister to stay at Judy's house, so we could focus on meeting our new daughter. I say new...she's ten months old and we've known about her since before she was born. We had seen her in passing as we shuffled our two kids in and out of CPS parent visits, but we had never truly met this baby, never held her, never viewed her as our own.
Her foster mom shooed the other kids out into the yard and said "let Baby have some time with her new mama and daddy." Her other kids are all either adopted or close to it. "New mama and daddy" wasn't a strange phrase to them. Her foster mom talked to us for a bit about the transition plan we had all come up with, about Baby's habits and routines. She said since all her kids have either been adopted or gone back to their biological parents, she has never done this before. We said we haven't either. Then she went outside too and left us alone in her house to get to know the little girl she had raised and loved for the past eight months.
Trent and I looked at each other and at the sweet little girl on the rug near us. We had already been on the floor since the moment after shaking her foster mom's hand. She crawled toward us, a strength she had only recently attained after some struggle and therapy. We praised her and told her she had a more normal crawl than her older sister's funky side winder crawl had been. We told her that her sister had some strength troubles too but caught up quick just like she is doing and that her brother welps up like crazy from mosquito bites just like she does.
She stared at us. Oh, did she stare at us. We knew about this, from the kids' caseworker and from her foster mom. She's a serious baby.
We each held her for a little while. We talked to her and played. Then after almost an hour, we left. What else does one do during an initial visit with a ten month old? We will have more visits. We will have more transition. But for now, we have at least met her and held her and let her know we exist in this world.