Sunday, February 27, 2011

Saying Goodbye

I woke up this morning and felt like I was going to throw up. Before my mind even became aware that today was the day I give away my sons, my body reacted. Blech!

Sunday mornings are all about church in our family, and for the past few months Babies 2&3 have been visiting their Dad on Sunday morning, so we get up and go to church without trying to get kids ready as well. Today, Brandon had to be at church to volunteer at 7:30 and I had to get Respite 4 ready for a visit with her bioDad at 8 and get Babies 2, 3, and myself ready to be at church at 9. I was so close to making up an excuse to skip it today, why would I want my boys in a nursery for and hour and a half on my last day with them? However, I'm way too responsible for that. Rush. Rush, Rush and we were late!

After church, I brought the boys home while Brandon stopped at the grocery store for some stuff I forgot yesterday. My Mom was already here, and wanted to hold and hug the boys. She helped me clean up the house and prep the going away dinner.

At 3:00pm, my Dad, Brandon's sister, brother in law, and brother came over and we ate chicken and scalloped potatoes and talked about how much we are going to miss babies 2 & 3. My Mom cried at least a dozen times, but I held myself together except for when I prayed for their safety before dinner.

At 5:30, We packed up the van with the last box of the boy's clothes and diapers, hugged and kissed our babies, and buckled them into their carseats, and started driving. The ride to Dad's house, now our boy's house, was quiet. Do we make small talk? Do we talk to the boys about reunion? Do we talk about our feelings? Baby 2 was happily playing with his HUGE fire truck that Papa gave him before dinner, and Baby 3 was sleeping, so we drove and said nothing. The street they live on is a one way side street, so we had to go down and loop back around to their house. On that street- one over from where my children are sleeping tonight- we saw a man getting arrested in front of a convenient store. That set us up for the warm fuzzies that is reunification.

We got to their house at 6:00. Baby 2 went right in with his firetruck. I carried a sleeping Baby 3 inside and laid him on the couch, BioDad grabbed the box, and Brandon grabbed the camera. When we were all in the living room, Dad asked some very thoughtful and appropriate questions about the boys schedule and food preferences. He reiterated his intent to have us involved in the boy's lives and we made plans for Baby 3's first birthday party next Sunday. Baby 2 went right to playing and unpacking the box of clothes that his Dad had brought in. Dad said he plans to have our contact with the boys continue as a Godparent relationship, which I found very wise since it requires no explanation about the boy's foster care placement. He hugged us when we left and thanked us for taking great care of his sons. I left feeling positive about the boy's well being. When we got to the door, Dad said "Baby 2, Say goodbye!". Baby 2 waved bye to his Dad and tried to walk out with us. Way to rip my heart out Baby 2...

On the way home, I teared a couple of times. Brandon and I tried to talk about our feelings, but didn't have anything worth saying. We both understood the other felt crushed. I can only describe the feeling like when someone gets stabbed, but doesn't even realize the knife is sticking out of their body. I knew something very traumatic had just happened to my family, but my mind couldn't comprehend the fullness of it, and my heart couldn't compute that much grief. 

I got home and put respite 4 (who was home with my Mom) to bed and tidied up while Brandon put in some laundry. We sat on the couch together in our silent house and Brandon fell asleep while I started this post.

Saying goodbye is heart-wrenching, but I would rather me feel sad when a child goes home than for my children to never have had a mother who was fully invested in them and loved them so deep that it made the oceans look like rain puddles.

I don't know what tomorrow will look like for me emotionally, but I know that I will never regret falling in love with Foster Care.

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