do you know the story of my foster son Oliver?


part 1of 2
i've never shared the full story behind my journey with my foster son, Oliver, and how the first ollie came to be. ⁠
this is how it all began…
⁠at the time, i was working for our local county setting up SART locations. these facilities work with drug and/or trauma exposed little ones 0-5 yrs old from a multidisciplinary approach. 
there was an extreme upsurge of not only methamphetamine users and labs, but also meth exposure for babies in-utero. our county was the “the nation’s meth capital”.
at the same time, there was also this incredible upsurge of understanding and exploring the neurological, neurodevelopmental, and mental health of infants. 
there was this old school of thought that “babies are resilient”, which they are, but this theory also came with the belief that the external environment didn’t affect the baby and “they would be fine”. 
but science was showing how trauma and drug exposure literally impacts the brain development, how neurons connect, and how the neural pathways that create grooves in our brain are impacted. 
this truly shows how impactful a little one’s environment, as well as the connection, nurturance, and safety within that environment, is.
researchers have learned that early adverse experiences actually integrate into our bodies, which impacts development, emotional success, physical health, and mental health through our lifetime.
when i learned this it changed everything.
it changed my outlook on how i viewed myself and my childhood trauma. and, it changed the way i wanted to advocate for little ones. as you can imagine in my line of work, i saw and heard cases that shook me to my core. cases i will never forget and will haunt me forever.     
through it all, my only thought was... “how can i help?”
i was speaking with one of the social workers i frequently worked with about wanting to find ways to do more. and he told me that i could become a foster parent. i had no idea that there was such a thing as single foster parents.
it was that day i started the process to become a foster parent. 
there were people in my life who didn’t understand or even agree with my decision, but in my heart, i knew it was right. 
i completed the process and several months later…