In the early 1960's, my three children, ages 5, 6 and 7, were all in school. There were too many hours in the day for just housework, so I looked for an outlet and became a foster parent.
Those were the days when unwed mothers went somewhere, gave birth and gave the baby up for adoption. Most of those mothers were young teens. And because they were young, the babies often had problems. So our home was a special home to observe a baby before it was placed and see if there were issues.
Our first four babys were boys, nothing outstanding and all placed for adoption in a few weeks.
The first girl was the one we adopted a year later, a previous blog about Karen Kaye.
Shortly after Karen, we got a boy that seemed normal, but I had a nagging suspicion there was a problem. He didn't seem to hear when we talked to him. So when he was sleeping, I
dropped pans, made loud noises, and finally concluded they needed to check his hearing. He was deaf. But he was placed with an adoptive family.
We also had a boy that had no inclination to keep breathing and we had to watch him constantly to be sure he was okay. We came to a day when I found him unresponsive. My oldest son was a boy scout and had learned CPR. So he immediatly began working on the baby. We got into the car and headed for the nearest Fire Statio while my son kept working on the baby. He was taken to a hospital and put on life support. I don't know what happened to him, being a foster parent did not give us the right to information, and we never heard more about him. However, my son was given an honor by the Scouts for saving a life, had an article in the newspaper and became a minor celebrity, in our home especally.
There was a day my daughter, about 8 or 9 by then, and I were grocery shopping. We were at the check out stand when two little older ladies came up and asked to see my baby,which I gladly showed them. Then they wanted to look at my daughter's "doll." They were quite surprised to see it was another real baby. So they asked if the baby's were twins. No, we told them, one was three months old and one was six months old. Well, you could see the wheels turning as they tried to figure that out. We just smiled and left the store, but when we got to the car, we collapsed in laughter.
After we had made a move to Texas, we were asked to take a boy who had been in an incubator for several weeks but seemed to be okay. The first night we had him we lost him. I had two babies, and got up to feed the one who started fussing first. After getting her back to bed, I fixed the bottle and went to get the other child. I knew immediatly he was dead. We called an ambulance, and he was worked on and taken to a hospital but did not respond. At this point, I nearly gave up foster care,but luckily did not.
We then got our first African American child, a darling little guy we called our chocolate baby. His mom was young and to keep him quiet, constantly fed him until he was very overweight, so we helped get his weight back down.
Our years were filled with great experiences, some sad, mostly happy and all rewarding.
But there came a day when the baby's were no longer the ones in need of foster parents, and they asked us to take in troubled teens., I had three great teens by then and decided to quit, as three were a handful.
Missed the extra little ones around, but life moved on, as did our experience with the Air Force, we just kept movng around.