Monday, April 28, 2014

For the Last Time..

On August 24, 2012 I posted this picture to my Facebook wall and captioned it "Our Journey has Begun..." :-))



I had just laid our very first foster child, G, into his new bed on his very first night in our home.  We were so excited to have him here with us.  We had no idea how long he would be with us or where this journey would lead.  And frankly, we were scared to death.  But having this little boy here...well, it felt RIGHT. 

As I sit here now, 1 year 8 months and 4 days later, I've just laid him down in his bed for quite possibly the last time....
 




And I'm more scared now than ever.  We have been through so much with this little fellow.  He's a completely different child than he was that first night. The thought of him not being here...well, I just can't imagine it. Tomorrow afternoon, we will walk into a courtroom, sit down, and listen as all the interested "parties" go before a judge and let him/her know that they have come to an agreement in this case and that G will now be going to live with a relative.  Barring that judge completely surprising everyone with some off the wall order, that move will take place tomorrow evening. 


His things are packed. 


He's ready.  He knows that he's going.  We've tried to explain to him what's happening.  I think he understands..kinda.  He says he's going on a visit.  He has done some transitional visits where he goes and stays from Saturday morning to Sunday afternoon and then comes home.  We've explained that this time he'll go and stay there.  That he'll take all his clothes and toys and things and stay with Ms. W all the time.  "Okay, Mama,"  he tells me. So I think he understands...as much as a 3 year old can understand these things. 

Please pray for our little G.  Prayers that the transition will be smooth..that he'll be happy and safe and loved.  That God's angels will surround him always and that he'll be open to the Holy Spirit as He leads him on the right path.  Pray for his family.  That they will see G as the gift from God that he truly is and love and cherish him.  Please also pray for my family as we adjust to the new normal without G in our home.  And for our extended family and friends who will grieve along with us.  And lastly, please pray for this Mama's heart.  Cause right now it's breaking.  :-(

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Transition


I started packing his things today...

Going through his clothes. Picking out what he'll take with him.  What still fits.  What he could possibly use this coming Fall/Winter. "Honey, do you think he'll still be able to wear this come Fall?" I think he has plenty to get him through the Spring and Summer. Or should I buy him a few more outfits just to be sure?  Oh, these are way too small...those we'll keep for the next little guy that God may send our way.  I think I'll buy him a few new packs of underwear and socks before he leaves.  These are looking a little old.  "Look, honey, remember this outfit?  He wore it last Easter."  Seems like a lifetime ago...and like a split second ago....hmmm, I need to check his shoes.  He may need a new pair of sandals for summer...and oh, I hope they have room for all those toys....


"Whatcha doin, Mama?" he asks as he notices me sitting at the dining room table with piles of clothes all around me.
"Oh just going through your stuff, baby."
"My clothes?"
"Yep..look..here's your favorite Spiderman shirt."
"I like Spiderman, Mama."
"I know, baby..Mama knows."

I know full well that he likes Spiderman.  G likes everything Spiderman.  
Note to self: don't forget to send his Spiderman plate and bowl.  He likes to eat off of those.
And he likes Mickey Mouse.  And Chuggington.  And I know that Tow Mater is his very favorite character from Cars. I know that he doesn't really care for macaroni and cheese but he'll never turn down fried chicken or French fries. And don't even mention spaghetti for supper.  He'll excitedly run to the table before the stove is even turned on. Spaghetti is his absolute favorite.  I know that if you give him the choice between bacon and eggs or Pop Tarts for breakfast he'll pick Pop Tarts every. single. time. I know that he absolutely loves sweet tea but will immediately frown up if you even attempt to get him to drink some water. I know that G loves to take a bath but ya better not let the water or soap get in his eyes or a nervous breakdown will soon follow.  He's fully potty trained but you may have to remind him to flush the toilet and turn out the light on his way out. Oh and just putting his jacket on him is never enough.  I know that it MUST be zipped up. I know that his laugh is amazing and wonderful and contagious. I know he'd rather be at his Sissy and John John's house playing with Kaden more than he wants to be anywhere else in the world.  I know going into Kobe's room after he's asked him to stay out and hearing Kobe yell "MAMA!!" is a sure fire boredom buster for G.  He will just laugh and laugh.  I know he likes to stay on a schedule.  That any difference in a normal day takes some getting used to for him and the end result of your spontaneity is usually up in the air...depending on G's mood on that given day.  I know so much about this little boy who's been our son for the past 20 months. I've watched him grow.  Listened as his vocabulary went from nothing to saying any and everything.  Funny how we used to coax him to say even one word and nowadays it's like, "G, please baby, let's just have a moment of quiet time." :-) I've watched as his dealings with frustrations went from banging his head on the nearest hard surface to simply whining and eventually being able to tell you why he feels the way he's feeling right now.  Oh, this sweet boy.  We know all about you. 

And there is one other thing that I now know.....

I know that barring anything drastic happening...our boy will be moving on exactly 4 weeks from today.  Court is scheduled for April 29th and it is expected that on that day our sweet G will be moving in with relatives...who do not know him at all.  It's so bittersweet.  He'll be with his baby sister and will get to see his Mom and Dad on a regular basis.  Much more than he does now.  The people he's moving in with are wonderful people who seem to care and want what's best for G.  But they do not know him. They don't know the simple tricks of the G trade that will make day to day life much easier for them all.  I have to keep reminding myself that neither did we when we began this journey 20 months ago.  We learned about each other day in and day out.  Through trials and triumphs we made it through.  There have been days that Mark and I felt like banging OUR heads against the nearest hard surface trying to figure this little guy out. 

When he was placed in my arms that very first day, I had no idea where this journey would take us.  This little boy..not yet 2 years old.  A stranger's child.  Placed in our home.  The end result uncertain. No one knew at the time (and for many months afterwards) how this case would conclude. And yet my family had the most wonderful yet daunting task set before us.  To care for him.
Simple, right?  Take care of him.  Make sure no harm comes his way.  Feed him. Clothe him. Teach him right from wrong. You take care of him while the biological family gets "fixed"....once they figure life out and are "taught" how to properly care for a child they can have him back.  "Not sure how long he'll be with you."   Okay?  Great. That's how it works. Oh, and thanks for all you do. 

Oh, but how quickly we figured out it's not that simple at all.  In the process of caring for this stranger's child...feeding him...clothing him...bathing him...teaching him..vacationing with him...working our way through each and every good and bad day...living life with him...he became not a stranger's child but OUR child.  We shared our lives with him and he with us.  He became part of our crew.  Where we are there he is also.  If we showed up somewhere without him, people would automatically ask, "Where's G?" Why?  Because he belonged with us.  It was expected that he would be there if we were.  I wonder how that will be 4 weeks from now when we go out to our favorite restaurant or somewhere where they don't know the whole story.  I'm not sure how I'll react having to explain time and time again where the cute curly haired boy with the big brown eyes has gone.  What will life be like without G in it?  I'm not sure yet...A little quieter maybe..a little calmer I'm sure...but there is one thing I do know.  Our lives are so much better because G has been a part of it. 
And we will never be the same.