Our First Kid

Our Foster Parenting Journey: The Breakdown

The Monday after our rough weekend with Marcus, I worked from home.  We had a pre-scheduled meeting that afternoon with Ivette, the counselor that attempted to work with Marcus in his first foster home.  She had asked to meet with us to discuss strategies to work with Marcus when he ultimately moved into our home.

So I was sitting in our kitchen on my laptop when I got the shocking e-mail from Ivette.

“With Marcus in the hospital, there is no reason for us to meet today.”

I was stunned.  I re-read the words frantically.  She said she would be at Wednesday’s emergency CFT at the Children’s Hospital.  What CFT?

I called her immediately.  She didn’t answer.  I left her a panicked voicemail and re-read her e-mail when I hung up.  My anxious mind raced through possible scenarios.  Did he hurt himself during an impulsive display of defiance?  Did he hurt himself intentionally? Was he scared?  My mind flashed to the inevitable, sad, truth.  No matter what happened, he was, almost certainly, alone.  I’m sure the shelter could not afford to have a staff member sit with him in the hospital all day.

When Ivette called me back, I picked up immediately and spouted out all of my questions.  Ivette sounded resigned and slightly annoyed as she told me Marcus was in the children’s hospital.  The shelter brought him.  She didn’t give me many details.  She wouldn’t tell me what happened.

When I hung up, I immediately dialed Kathy, the case manager at the shelter.  Marcus “escalated” Sunday afternoon, Kathy explained.  “I tried to work with him,” she told me.  Ultimately, they had to call a crisis team.  It was decided that he was a danger to himself and others.  My stomach dropped.  He was admitted to the Children’s Hospital and was waiting for a bed in the psychiatric unit.   An emergency Child Family Team meeting (“CFT”) was scheduled for Wednesday at noon at the hospital.  She asked if I could be there.  

“Of course!”  I blurted out before she could even finish her sentence.  

And with that, we said goodbye and I hung up the phone.



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