The day I have been waiting for has finally arrived. Aunt L and Uncle P are now licensed and Little Man will be leaving me on October 20. I knew this day would come, but every time someone asked when he would be leaving, I was able to say, "In the next month or so..." It was always so ambiguous, so out there, so abstract. Now it's real, concrete, and highly unavoidable.
When I got his social worker's message yesterday after school, I was okay for a little while, and then I went to my small group at church. I'm in a parenting Bible study (Parenting with Scripture, great resource!) and funnily enough, the first topic that we were to discuss was change. That's when it started.
Now, let's get something straight, I'm an ugly cryer. My face contorts, my nose runs, my eyes swell... not so cute. Thank goodness it wasn't too bad and I was able to calm myself down before the true ugly crying started, but it was enough to be a forwarning of what is to come in the next few weeks. My emotions seem to be on a merry-go-round. I'm happy that Little Man and his brother will eventually be back together. I'm happy that they have a family who wants them and was willing to go through all of the hoops to get them and keep them together. I'm happy that this will likely be a forever home for both of them, but that mom will be an important part of their lives as well. But I'm sad for me! There are so many things that I'll miss about this child. There will be so many ways that my life will feel empty.
The worst part, however, is knowing how much he will miss me. I know that sounds incredibly weird... so let me explain. Little Man came to me from another foster family. They are AMAZING!! They loved him (and still do!) as if he were their own child and he loves them fiercely. He not only cried for them when he first came to me, but he wept. He wept tears of anguish as he missed the brother, sisters, and parents that God had placed him with for that season. He wept for fear of the unknown. He wept because of the finality of the realization that he would never live with them again. I almost feel that as he goes through this process of grieving again, I may be able to feel his pain through the miles. I know the words he will use and the way his cries will sound... as if his heart is breaking into a million pieces with no hope of repair. I know how he will ask Aunt L and Uncle P if Sunny (my dog) can come and live with them because he misses her. I know how he will be scared at night in his new bed and will keep himself awake as long as he can because of that fear. I know how he will talk about things that we did together and ask to do them again. I know how he will have to relearn family rules and expectations yet again.
The things that scare me and make me sad about this situation can quickly overwhelm me, so it is now my goal to stay positive. I know all of the positives in this situation. I know that this is what's best for Little Man. I know that God's hand is not just in this, but is controlling all of this. I know that this family has raised successful, Godly children. Some who, despite traumatic beginnings, have reclaimed their futures and are living their best lives. Twenty years from now, I look forward to getting a call from Little Man and hearing about where he is and what he's doing... hearing about what he's doing for the Lord and how God is using him.