Elizabeth Brown’s Foster Care Story
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Originally published – 5/28/2020
“This is an art piece I put on my car 10 years ago. I always believed it represented that, if one day some woman was in trouble and needed me to step up and take care of her baby, I would.
On Wednesday, March 4th, 2020, my phone rang, stopped ringing, and then rang again. My caller ID showed that it was my boyfriend’s daughter. When my boyfriend called her back to see what was going on, she informed him that one of her baby boys was in the hospital with a bad diaper rash and that the county might take him away. 27 hours later I received a call from Hennepin County Child Protection asking for my information to run a background check because my boyfriend’s daughter had identified me as the person she would like to be the emergency foster care provider for the boys. I did not think twice before giving the information that was requested.
When I got home, I went through a bag of baby boy items that were going to be donated to my church. I washed the clothes, cleaned the Pack & Plays, and informed my boyfriend that the boys were coming to stay with me. 24 hours later I received a call that the first boy would be dropped off in a few hours. He arrived wrapped in a blanket with a diaper bag that had 5 diapers, ¼ can of formula, a bottle, and a few pacifiers. The social worker gave me permission to purchase formula and some diapers, and we settled in for the evening.
The following day, I went to the hospital to pick up his twin brother and learn how to properly care for his wounds. The brothers were soon reunited in my home. The following days were filled with doctor appointments and meetings with Child Protection workers at the house to help us get everything in order. We had to take a trip to Ikea to purchase two cribs, mattresses, sheets, and a few bibs. On Saturday, the boys’ mother came for her first visit with her babies.
On Tuesday, March 17th, the government shut everything down due to COVID-19. My job ended and my boyfriend’s company closed, so we hunkered down for a period of mandatory sheltering-in-place and our focus was on the boys and our new life together.
Every day is a blessing, and we really value the one-on-one time with the boys. We have gotten into a new routine, and we enjoy the days we can get out and go for walks in the warm spring weather. There is nowhere we have to be right now, as all the appointments and visits have been switched to FaceTime and Zoom.
So far in our foster care licensing journey, we are really enjoying the trainings. We especially enjoyed attending a discussion forum over Zoom with other foster care providers and three of EVOLVE’s Foster Care Family Workers.
We are ready for a long journey with these sweet boys. We hope to be there in 18 years when they graduate high school!