I'm In Your Subways, Photographing Your Babies

But am I ready to be a (temporary) mom?
Publish date:
June 27, 2011
parenting, babies, foster care, M

I am often accused of doing "weird stuff" by my boyfriend in my home -- taking pictures of myself, parading around in front of the full-length mirror in my 15th outfit for the morning, and he is especially suspicious if I unwittingly scoot the couch a few inches in either direction. The couch scrutiny must stop, boo, seriously.

But one area in which the boyfriend's disapproval is perhaps warranted is my baby-photographing problem. The above photo of a friend's fresh-out-the-oven joy bundle was actually taken with permission, so I feel better about posting it on the Internet over one of the many covert subway shots of strange babies that populate my iPhone.

I don't know what comes over me when I see a cute baby out in public. Not content just to smile and play peek-a-boo, I feel compelled to steal a tiny part of its precious newborn soul by snapping a picture. I then text said picture to my boyfriend, who, while freaked out by my tactics, cannot deny charm of strange baby.

Oh, and one more of these, just because it makes me laugh:

We talk about food and babies! But we never confuse the two, I promise.

Really, this baby talk doesn't seem to freak him out at all, possibly because we are soooo mature. We both want kids, we particularly love babies, and it's getting to be about that time for both of us.

This is the part where you think I'm gonna say I'm about to get PREGNANT! But you're wrong! HA! No babies up in this uterus (yet). But on Wednesday, we are attending our first orientation on becoming foster or adoptive parents.

In my house growing up, we had sort of an "accept all strays" policy -- when my goth-y, scumbag friends got kicked out of their dysfunctional homes, they usually moved in with us for awhile. And in fact, my parents briefly fostered when I was small, although for years I just thought that Asian girl who lived with us was somehow my cousin.

Anyway, perhaps partly because of the shitty things that happened to me as an adolescent, I have always wanted to help kids. Particularly adolescent girls in the 11-16 range, and my therapist (one of them) has pointed out many times that I am trying to go back and save myself, yes.

So about 5 years ago, I signed up for the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, which I have no idea how to mention without sounding like a total douchebag, so I just refer the little lady below as my little sister, without any explanation as to how or why my little sister is Puerto Rican.

True love forever between me and this awesome kid, but after three years together, she hit the teen years hard and sadly, our match ended up officially closed. Unofficially, we text and I will chill with her like it's my job any time she wants.

But both the close of our match and dealing with her recent shenanigans (she ended up spending an impromptu night in our guest room when she declined to return home after school one day) have made me realize that I want to do more. And thanks heavens for the God who takes care of drunks, because somehow in my worst years, when I had nothing but bad ideas, s/he led me to a man who is trustworthy, responsible, and as into this idea as I am. Which is awesome, because it would have been a dealbreaker.

My lifestyle will have to change of course, but not that drastically, considering I no longer drink or really go out. And fostering is meant to be temporary, although permanency is sometimes an option.

But I will have to give up some of my long Saturdays spent wandering around by myself and spending all my money on yet another polka-dot dress. Some movies will have to be watched after bedtime, and to be honest, we already don't stay up that late. Schedules will have to be coordinated, sex toys locked away, and we probably won't get a tiny little sweet-smelling baby. I am definitely slightly freaked out to be taking the first step in a giant life decision. Do they even let oversharing head cases like me care for at-risk children?

I guess we're about to find out.