The goodbye, Part 1

I've been putting this post off for a few days because of the fact that it makes my heart ache. It has been nearly a week since our foster baby left us. I have so many thoughts and emotions piling up that I barely know where to begin.

But I'll try.

It's been an unusual week, in that there has been great sorrow and great joy.

I am missing her, very much. When I see a picture of her my eyes fill up with tears. When I walk past the bouncy seat, pull on the sling, walk into the room she was sleeping in, I remember her. When I'm out and about in town, I pray that I'll see her. When my mom or a friend asks me about her, I burst into tears. When we arrived at small group on Thursday night and at church on Sunday, it felt like we'd forgotten something. She should be here with us. When Mark and I sat on the couch last night and talked, we spoke of her, and we both cried. As 9:00 am nears, on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, I think: "This is when the social worker would be picking her up for her birthmom visit." And at 11:15 on those same days, my heart leaps and I think, "They'll be bringing her back any minute, now." But then I remember: She's not coming back at all.

That has been hard to swallow. She won't be back. She was in our lives for a season, a very short season, and that was it. When Mark and I were talking about this a couple of weeks ago, we were referring to this season with her as a chapter in our lives, and Mark said, "If this were a book I was reading, I'd wonder why the Author had included this chapter."

Why now, of all times, in our lives? Why this particular baby? Why just this one short month? Why does it all seem so unfinished, so untidy? We're still sorting it out. Especially me. Mark loved her and cared for her, but he is a logical man. When she was with us, he held with him the thought, "She's not my daughter." And that helped him. Me, on the other hand? I loved her and cared for her and truly saw her as one of my own children. So I feel a deep sense of loss that she's no longer with us.

~tears~

I'll delve into more of all that later but for now I'm going to give the play-by-play:

Tuesday was our first full day with Addie. Our foster baby was also with us. I wanted to keep her indefinitely, but our agency had been pretty clear from the beginning that we could do short-term interim foster care, but that when we got a placement, that "short-term child" would have to go. Mark was also concerned that it might be a little much for me, longer-term. So when I picked her up from her birthmom visit on Monday, I spoke with her social worker and told her that we would keep her until Thursday, which would have been the full 30 days they'd originally asked of us.

As I spoke with her social worker, I thought she'd be going back to her birthmom, as that was the original plan. But the social worker, taking in the news that the little girl we were going to be able to adopt was ready for us to pick up, said of our foster baby: "Well. She has no place to go. She can't go back to her mom, yet. They don't have a home.... I'll have to find another foster home for her."

I felt sick.

One of the things I'd prayed for since Day 1 was that she would be with us until she was able to go back to her birth mother. I wanted that for her. (For me, too.)

And now, this.

Anyway. A day later, it was Tuesday. Both babies were with us.

We didn't get much sleep the previous night, what with the two of them getting up at different intervals for feedings (it felt like we had twins!) Our day was full of visitors: family and friends, wanting to see Addie and congratulate us.

During one of those family visits, the phone rang. It was our foster daughter's social worker, and she said, "We found another home for Baby."

My heart sunk.

And then she said, "The new foster mom can't come and get her Thursday, but she can be there tomorrow morning after her scheduled visit with birthmom, so we'll do the transfer then."

I was silent, processing this.

And then, shakily: "So 9:00 tomorrow morning is the last time I'll see her?"

She said yes, and told me to gather all of her things and they'd pick her up in the morning.



[To be continued...]

13 comments:

  1. You are such a beautiful mommy.
    That short chapter was an incredibly important chapter in Baby's life. Vital. Well done, good and faithful Stacy.

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  2. Oh Stacy. Thank you for your candid account of this journey. It is so beautiful.

    You are truly an inspiration and role model!

    Love you!

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  3. Oh man, I sure can relate to some of those feelings you had when you guys had her! My husband is like yours. He is keeping himself from falling in love with her (even though he DOES love her!) and I, on the other hand, already have. We don't get the feeling this could lead to adoption (you never know) so there probably will be the day when we have to say good-bye. I have imagined what our house will be like again without her and I can't. I think this was included in your life as a chance for you to show your love for the LORD by loving this little one. You were obedient to what you felt Him calling you to do and loved even though you didn't understand completely what was going on. What a privilege! What a blessing!

    I have been praying for you and little Addie!

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  4. Oh man, I sure can relate to some of those feelings you had when you guys had her! My husband is like yours. He is keeping himself from falling in love with her (even though he DOES love her!) and I, on the other hand, already have. We don't get the feeling this could lead to adoption (you never know) so there probably will be the day when we have to say good-bye. I have imagined what our house will be like again without her and I can't. I think this was included in your life as a chance for you to show your love for the LORD by loving this little one. You were obedient to what you felt Him calling you to do and loved even though you didn't understand completely what was going on. What a privilege! What a blessing!

    I have been praying for you and little Addie!

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  5. I agree w/Cindy, you are such a beautiful mommy!

    Thanks for sharing this. I'm sure it was hard to. I prayed for your sweet family this morning.

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  6. I'm crying with you. I can't even imagine. Just know I'm praying for you in this "grieving" stage. And we know that God has her best interest at heart! Even for a short chapter, I'm sure you made a huge difference in that little girl's life - whether it be the sweet snuggles or all your (and our) prayers! God continues to hear them and watch over her.

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  7. I just dont know how you do it. The good thing is ...THAT you do it. The Lord picked you. He didn't pick me or Mary Jo or Sally Smith. He picked you. He knew you would endure all that it entailed.

    You are a special soul-
    God bless-
    Amanda
    http://iammommy.typepad.com/

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  8. Sigh. This makes me sad. You were such a loving mommy to her while she was in your home. You gave her your heart without reservation, and for that you deserve a big hug.
    {{{{stacy}}}} Praying that God will grant you and Mark peace throughout this grieving process.

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  9. The short chapter? It's like one of those books/movies where it all makes sense in the final scene.

    Sad for you. How good that your man will cry with you during this time. He's a keeper.

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  10. Stacy, a couple of thoughts crossed my mind as I read your post.

    You wrote, "Mark loved her and cared for her, but he is a logical man. When she was with us, he held with him the thought, "She's not my daughter." And that helped him. Me, on the other hand? I loved her and cared for her and truly saw her as one of my own children. So I feel a deep sense of loss that she's no longer with us."

    I believe my husband and I are in the same place as you and Mark.

    My husband truly cares for Baby Bug and he'll be sad when she goes but I think he'll have an easier time of it when she's returned home because he's always kept in mind that she's not our daughter.

    I, on the other hand, remind myself from time to time that she's not our daughter but I already love her as much as if she were. I'm going to be heartbroken when she's returned home to her parents.

    In reading your post I was also reminded of my feelings of guilt. Each time that Baby Bug's return home date shifts to a later date, there's a small part of me that is glad because it means I get to keep her just a little bit longer. Then, I feel guilty because I know how anxious her parents are to have her back home and how very much they miss her.

    This fostering is not for the faint of heart. It does my heart good though to read your post because it reminds me that I'm not alone in how I struggle with these mixed emotions. Thank you for that!

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  11. Stacy;

    Perhaps this chapter will be one that is read aloud in heaven, when this wee little lass also steps before the Throne of God and says,
    "I am here, because this man and woman open their hearts and prayers to my life...their prayers drew me to a life with God, though we never met again, today I stand here because they were willing vessels of the Lord most High."

    Kimmie
    mama to 6
    one homemade and 5 adopted

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  12. I could not have said it any better, Kimmie!!! (Your comment brings tears to my eyes!)

    This little girl was blessed beyond measure to have a family like yours, Stacy ---if even for A DAY---to hold her and kiss her and pray over her! And, although my heart hurts for YOU as you miss her, my heart REJOICES that this little girl will have a prayer-warrior-mama (a PWM???) lifting her up faithfully before her Heavenly Father!

    Can I just say again how proud I am of you?

    Michelle

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  13. You loving Baby as though she were your own and having your heart break and grieve so much is EXACTLY what she and all the other precious little ones in the system need.

    They need people to love them so much. The need people having broken hearts longing to keep them.

    Even if it is for only a brief season this helps to teach them what love is. And a taste of God's grace and mercy.

    Thank you for your post.
    80)
    Mary Beth

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