20 Mar Remaining Joyful Moments
My family is perched on our staircase watching and cheering in delight as Sweet Baby Boy crawls up them for the first time (we are also ready to catch him should he turn around or wobble). In the 7 ½ months Sweet Baby Boy has been with us he has become so capable, so daring, and so full of life. He periodically looks back at me, as if to say “I can do this… right?”, and I smile and encourage him on. He then proceeds to happily climb up the next step, smiling, understanding his accomplishment. Big Foster Bro is at the top jumping up and down excitedly saying “you’re almost here, keep going, you can do it!”
I could let the reality of our situation hijack this joyful moment, as it looks certain that Sweet Baby Boy will leave us within the next month to be reunified with bio-mom. Overnight visits have gone well and the number of nights she spends with him will likely keep increasing. But instead, as I have had to do many times before (not always successfully), I choose gratitude. I remind myself that we have gotten to witness so many firsts: first time rolling-over, first foods, first crawl, and so many other wonderful milestones that Sweet Baby Boy has met with vitality. So, I relish this moment and allow the joy and love to wash over me completely. The fact is that I need to feel that gratitude, joy, and love if I am going to muster up the courage to say goodbye.
Sweet Baby Boy feels like an integral part of our family and it is hard to imagine our home without him. But he is not “ours” to keep, as much as we want to believe that he is. I remind myself again that bio-mom has made remarkable progress and has done everything necessary – and more – to get her son back. While the road forward is far from certain, I have a deep-rooted faith that he came into our home for a reason and, if he indeed leaves, he will also be leaving for a reason. Perhaps another child is meant to stay, or perhaps helping children heal in a loving home is the single purpose to our fostering journey.
Regardless of the future, the love, joy and gratitude of this experience are forever ours.