And this is where you earn your chops or as The Mr. says, where we get our street cred as foster parents. This is the part that they gloss over in the endless hours of training.
There is no pretty answer. There is no right.
Today the mail person came to my door. Never a good sign. I had to sign for a summons.
Again. Not a good sign.
It's a hearing to make official in court the change of placement for Little One. We will go to court in early October, probably never get the opportunity to say a single word, and hear the judge order him to be moved from our home to his uncle's home. It will be almost exactly 2 years. 2 years and 9 days.
In those 2 years we have taken a little person who was a barely surviving little lump of baby to a thriving all-boy 2 year old toddler complete with attitude, sense of humor and definite likes and dislikes.
In less than a month I will try to explain this and have it make sense, not only to myself, but to every person connected to us, why this little person will move on to another home.
I want to pitch my own tantrum right now, but in between crying and throwing up, I don't have the time. I have to get him ready to go.
And in a way, this isn't a bad solution. We've known it's been a possibility for a very long time. He will be with his siblings and his extended family. He will be able to maintain a relationship with his parents. This isn't a fail.
But it doesn't make it easy.
I will sort through the toys and books and clothes and movies to separate his from ours. Again.
I will take more pictures and movies and fill up his book and mine. I will hope and pray that we will remain more than a fuzzy hopeful feeling in his life. I will hope his "new" family will allow him to keep his photo book from his years with us. I will hope that they'll allow him some sort of contact with us, but I know what reality is.
I will take a family, short one member, to Disney this fall and we will all be enjoying it, but remembering the one who is most obsessed with Mouse. We will wonder what the look on his face would have been upon seeing Mouse up close and personal. We'll have our Halloween wondering what he's dressing up as and our Christmas buying a few less gifts.
We will not be bitter.
We will take more kids in.
Our hearts will break again.
But dear friends, if my heart doesn't tear from this than I'm doing it all wrong. If I don't love this child, or any child placed with me as if it were my own and mine forever, I'm doing all of us a disservice.
I will get to the other end of this journey and wonder how I've managed to walk so much of the path without my bestie. I never thought the silence would be this long and the ups and downs have been so much more than I've shared and there have been so many moments that I thought, oh no, I cannot do this alone. I cannot walk this path and yet I have.
No, that's not a God thing. This is an earthly thing I'm whining about. God has been there more than you could imagine as we've taken this journey with this Little One.
Besides, I prayed, just last night about this particular situation. I prayed for Little One to have his situation resolved soon according to His will for him, not my own wants and by noon today, I sat on my sofa, summons in hand.
Be careful what you pray for. You might indeed receive it.
I did not cry in front of Little One's therapy person as I read the summons.
Most likely I will not cry in front of you. Nor will I entertain much small talk or God cliches about this situation. I don't want platitudes. I don't want to hear what a great thing it was he had those 2 years with us. I don't want to hear much of anything.
I don't want to hear how I signed up for this heart ache and took my family along for the ride.
Sincerely, if I'm alive, really alive, and living the way God has called me to live (notice I said me, not you) than big parts of this will sting. Life is hard and bittersweet if you're really living it.
I don't want a life that's all cotton candy and rainbows. It's great to have good times and easy times, but I don't grow much in them and I don't serve many people in them. I'm not bone tired and soul weary at the end of those days. To have some is to have some refreshment, but to live a whole life of easy and happy, seems to me that I'm living on the surface and ignoring so much.
There is so much more to say and yet, it's all words, meaningless words.
I could rattle away and try to explain, but the thing is, I still have a homework deadline to meet. There is still football practice and youth group and a hubby on the other side of the country to deal with.
Life does not stand still just because we receive a blow.