Within 24 hours of coming into foster care, every child is required to have a medical check-up.
It’s a basic way for the state to ensure kids are healthy and getting the care they need. But also a tough requirement for that first day.
Logistically, as caregivers, we are juggling a lot. Trying to align schools or daycares, acquire clothes, and figure out favorite foods (or at least tolerable ones).
Emotionally, kids are juggling far more. New people, new places, new everything.
Enter the doctor’s office and all that it entails.
The day after we had a new placement, Jonathan and I were both on high-alert. Realizing this could be a difficult afternoon as we headed through the big doors with two boys’ hands tightly held in ours.
To our amazement, the brothers charmed every nurse and doctor that came to our room. Patient and resilient, they didn’t flinch as they were poked and prodded.
Then it was our turn. Necessarily, the team needed to know their medical history, their immunization records, their allergies. They looked to us, but we could only whisper that we didn’t know.
All the information we had were the dates of their birthdays.
It was so little, and yet for that day it was enough. Blanks and question marks sufficed and we moved on. With a common understanding that foster care is never about ideal situations with all the right answers, but rather about the best, given what is.
And as these boys were measured up and down, we could all see that they were doing the best given what was.