3 years ago on this date at 9:00 p.m. an unknown car pulled into our driveway. Three social workers and two of the most beautiful babies that I had ever laid eyes on were in it. We RAN to the car to welcome them into our home and I can honestly tell you without a shadow of a doubt that my life has NEVER been the same. I don’t EVER want to go back to the person I was before meeting my angels. They changed my view on everything! Jesus used two little babies to show me my own faults, where I needed to be humbled, where I needed more patience, and what was truly important in life. 16 months flew by and then I was faced with my worst fear (losing Little Man). I had told God I could not survive it, that He would have to change the circumstances because my heart wouldn’t be able to take it. God taught me something again… that JOY comes in the morning after grief and suffering. He taught me I could survive my worst day ever because I did. Now, I just pray pray pray for the little boy, I once called my son. Our babies were and are gifts from GOD! Today, one of those babies is my forever daughter! Baby Girl fills our house with JOY! She is growing into a very independent, loving, sensitive, daughter and sister. When I am asked about what I am most thankful for this year it is HER! She is our answer to YEARS of prayer. Thank you Lord JESUS for November 13th, three years ago. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
“The Lord has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy.” Psalm 126:3
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!
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.”
A year ago I looked horrible. My hair was always in a pony. I never had time for make up! I only got a shower when everyone in the house was asleep, but was usually so tired, I’d put it off for sleep! I had bags under my eyes. My skin was pale. I was SO happy!
Never in all my life had I ever felt more in God’s will. Never before did I feel like I was doing exactly what God had called me to do.
Foster care, it’s in my heart now.
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.
Sometimes I get angry at this stupid system! I watch commercials on t.v. about the state “needing” more foster parents. I listen to the radio announcer plug another agency wanting to certify new adoptive parents. I hear stories of children living in other foster homes with far too many other children or not adequate love and attention. Then, I sit back and get pissed! (Please forgive my wording, but yea, I’m pissed!). You wanna know why? Because for 6 months we have been waiting to serve, love, and protect another innocent life. We have said, “We are open. We are willing.” But, we get no calls. I am perfectly happy with our family right now. I love being a mommy to four! Only thing is, when I was a mommy to five, things just felt “right.” Grieving the loss of Little Man has taken months. I think about him constantly! I wish I could make some sense of it, but I can’t. All I can do is believe that God has a purpose. I thought it was that there was another child/children that needed us even more. But, as it turns out, it’s not that at all. We lost him because this system stinks!
That is it. That is all. Some days I just get really mad!
We never really went out to eat all that much when we had Little Man. He didn’t do very well in crowded restaurants or with anything out of the ordinary, really. He preferred to stay home and that was fine with us. We got used to ordering in and enjoying our family time. But, the few times that we did eat out and the greeter asked, “How many?” it just felt right saying, “Table for seven, please.” I got used to it.
It is coming up on five months since Little Man left. I still accidentally say, “Seven please,” but then have to correct myself and say, “I mean six.” It stings. We’ve kept our home open for potential foster placements. We took a month off to make sure that our hearts could handle it again. We talked to the children in depth and made SURE that they would want to do foster care again. We especially talked with our son (he’s our only boy now) and made sure he didn’t feel like we’d be replacing his brother by accepting another child into our family. We asked him what he wants. His answer? “I want a brother,” he says. While playing at church or the park he always picks the role of “big brother” when playing with the other kids. He helps the little guys make baskets on the court or puts them up on his back in church when they can’t see what is going on. He is a “big brother” by nature. Yes, he has three sisters and yes two of them are younger, but its just different. There is just something different about having a brother, he says, someone who plays like you. So, we’ve waited. But, after five months, I’m thinking it might not happen. We might be a family of six. It might not be meant to be. After all, we put this in God’s hands and I trust Him! We gave it over to him. I haven’t meddled or been obsessively calling our fostering agency. I’ve sat back and let God, and this is what He’s seen fit to do. Maybe I’m supposed to be a mother of four. Maybe that is my number. After all, foster care is about the child, NOT about the foster family. Maybe we are just not the right family for another little guy. Maybe our purpose was to be there for Little Man and Baby Girl and only them.
Maybe, we’re a table for six.
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.