I’m throwing it out! I HATE that dress! It was something I bought right before court a year and a half ago. I wore it the day I took my precious Little Man to be reunified with his birth family. The family that had made absolutely NO effort to gain custody of him, but because “blood is best” as far as courts are concerned, he was gone. My little boy! My heart! The one who clung to me and wouldn’t get out of my truck that morning. My baby who called, “Mama, no go! Mama, no go!”
Oh how I hate that dress! I wore it that day. The ugliest dress in my closet. It has hung there for a year and a half just staring at me and making me sick. I’ve kept it just in case these”feelings” went away and I could wear it again. It cost money, was my rational. It makes no sense to just throw it away. I’m being silly. The dress if fine, it is basically brand new. I’m being wasteful. BUT, TODAY I DON’T CARE! I’m tossing it! Not in the trash, but in the donation pile! Someone else can wear that dress. Someone who doesn’t know about the heartbreak. Someone who doesn’t feel the pain. Someone who doesn’t ache for the little boy who was mine. Someone who didn’t see him in the distance getting into a stranger’s car at the courthouse with all of his earthly things, as I rode away. Someone who didn’t sob and sob and sob as my friend drove me home. Someone else can wear that dress. I hate that dress!
Tonight it is quiet, too quiet! My Little Man should be here. He should. My life will never be the same after being his mommy. When it gets really quiet and the noise of the busy day is gone, I will probably always sit missing him. He was and is “my son of my heart.” I wonder what he’s doing. I wonder if he still remembers us. I wonder how I will ever even begin to explain to Baby Girl why her brother had to go. I made my family promise when that day comes that they will tell her how hard we fought to keep them together, to raise them together. I made them promise. The house is too quiet. He isn’t here. I miss my Little Man!
Sad Eyes. That will be his blog name. He is my new 6 year old foster son, the youngest of the two boys. He is precious and adorable. He also has a speech delay and the biggest saddest eyes that I have ever seen. I hope and I pray we can help him, so that I get to see those eyes sparkle someday. He has witnessed and been through so much in his short little life. It’s time we fill it with some happy! Time for some joy!
I held him while he cried and cried and sobbed and sobbed tonight. It was the mournful sounds of grief. A sound I have made before, but I have never heard a child make it. It was the sound of broken. It broke me too.
Our foster agency wants our family to read up on grieving. They want us to process all of the thoughts, feelings, and emotions we have about Little Man leaving, so that we are sure we are ready for another little person to enter our lives. I feel ready. I feel like I have grieved in a very healthy way. I talk about my grief. I pray. I write and journal. I look back, but spend more and more time looking forward. But, I’ll do it. I’ll read more and learn more. I just wish someone would write a book entitled, “How to handle it when you lose your precious foster son: a foster parent’s guide to mourning the loss of the child of your heart.”
Dear Little Man,
I can’t stop thinking about you today. It was exactly six months ago today that I had to let you go. Six months. It doesn’t feel like that long ago. I still ache to hold you again, to be your mama again. I miss your sweet voice, the smell of your clean skin and soft curly hair. I miss your hugs, your screams of joy and your laugh. I miss you! I pray for you! I still love you! Are you okay? Are you happy? Do you go to preschool? Do you use the big boy potty yet?
I’m taking good care of your sister. We love her so much! I pray that one day in the future, I’ll be able to find a way to let the two of you see each other again! I will try! I promise!
You changed my life Little Man. You changed me. You left a legacy of love in this house… unconditional, crazy devoted love. The place in my heart that is your’s will ALWAYS be your’s. No matter what, you have my love.
I’m waiting, waiting to feel whole again. For sixteen months we were a family of seven. My husband and I had two sons and three daughters. Days were busy, nights were crazy. We were happy! Now, life is just, different. I try to enjoy the peace in the house. Don’t get me wrong, we still have a toddler, so it’s still crazy, but there are lots of calm and peaceful moments too. Those are the moments, I can’t get used to. Then there are the tender little hearts and their questions. I can’t get used to answering my children’s questions of why. “Why did God allow this mama?” “If God knows everything, He knew we would love him and that he would be totally connected to us, but then that he’d have to leave, why did God do that, mama?”
We miss our Little Man every day! Every single day.
He’s missing. He’s not coming back. I may never hear his sweet voice again. I miss him so much! “I wuv ooo Mama,” rings in my ears. I want to get in my truck and go get him! I dream of them calling and saying they can’t do it any longer. I dream I get “my” baby back. But, then I wake up and it was only a dream.
Last night was hard. I was so happy having my husband home and we have extended family visiting too. We were all swimming and playing and laughing in the pool and all I could think of was that Little Man would love this! Part of my heart has a hole. It’s “his” place. It is reserved for him. Thank the Lord my husband was here last night to hold me. He said all of the right things. He reassured me like only he can. Then, he prayed. He prayed out loud for Little Man. He said everything to God that I wanted to say, but just couldn’t vocalize at that moment. He thanked God for Baby Girl and for all of our children. Then, he prayed God would bring us a little boy who needs a family. He asked for us to know the path that is right for our family. And then he said, “amen,” and I felt relief. I felt okay again. My heart still hurts, but today I can take another step forward.
I dreamt about Little Man last night. It was so vivid, so real and when I woke up, I wanted to go back to sleep and dream it again. I just wanted to get to spend some more time with him. It was heartbreaking. He was at a summer program for children from “rough places” and one of the social workers running the camp had invited me to come and be his counselor. I got to spend a week with him. He spoke so well now and told me, “No go again,” several times in my dream. He didn’t want me to leave and he didn’t want to leave me. Then, when the week was over, they packed him and the other children up and sent them back home. Little Man cried, I cried. It was a blubber-fest. He screamed for me and I just felt broken all over again.
Why did I let this happen? Why did I let myself get into something that I knew could break my heart? Why did I purposely set my family up for heartache. Why? How in the world did I think this would be okay? How did I think we would ever get over this? How?
Because. And here is why. Because if we had signed up for foster/adoption through our county and said, “We will do this, but we only want children that are at no risk of being taken back,” we would still be sitting here today with two empty beds in our house and no wonderful children. We would be waiting still. Because, with EVERY SINGLE placement that you get in foster care there is risk and the risk is HUGE. We are talking about human lives here, people! We are talking about children. We are talking about families. When you put all of those things together it is just plain risky. But, it is worth it!
Even if someone had told me from the beginning how Little Man’s story with us would end, I would still have done it. Because for those 16 months he needed us. He needed me. He needed a mommy that he didn’t have at the time. He needed a person who would fight for him. He needed someone to look beyond his sometimes “difficult” behaviors. He needed someone to love him. Did it take longer than I thought necessary for his family member to decide they “wanted him?” Yes, in my opinion it did, but who knows why it took that long. Who am I to judge? All I know is that I was blessed to be his mommy for those 16 months and I would never take those months back for ANYTHING! I love him. He is my son who now lives only in my heart… and in my dreams.
Tonight, I washed the sheets on the bed that was never meant to be empty. I washed them and remade the bed after Little Man left, but they’ve sat there unused for three months now and I felt it was time to wash them again. Only Boy has stated that he NEVER wants that bed to be taken down, so although it would make his room much bigger and give him tons more room to play, it will stay. It stays as a reminder of the precious little boy that changed my life. It stays as a reminder to Only Boy that he DID have a brother and although he doesn’t live here anymore, that he always will. It stays. A few days after Little Man left I crawled up into that bed and smelled the pillow that he used that very last night in our home. It hurt so bad! I finally washed the sheets to keep myself from doing that again. I didn’t want to feel that pain. I don’t want to feel it now. I want my family back. I want the way it “was” to be the way it “is.” I’m still hurting.
Two days ago I felt this sudden urge to get ready for a new foster placement. Our home is still open for foster placements and our agency worker knows that we would really like another little boy to love. I sent messages to both of our past workers reminding them that we are open for placements and that we have room for a child in need of a safe place to stay for the summer. Nothing. I guess that is good. It is ALWAYS good if there is no need. I don’t want children to be in need of a safe place. I want the place they were born into to be their safe place. But, if… if it is not… I want to be that safe place. Until then, the bed will stay empty, even though it was never meant to be.
We live in a “smallish” town. We go to church, school, dance lessons, and the ball field all within about a five mile radius. Most of the places I shop know me and my kiddos. So, when we go somewhere these days, I hear, “where is your little boy?” A little piece of me dies every time. I explain in the most politically correct way that I can and I keep moving. It hurts. It rips off the bandaid. But, I’ve just got to keep moving.