The unknown future. What does it look like? Is it dark, is it light? Is it easy or hard? Is it broken or whole?
These questions have invaded the heart of this foster parent.
You see, I have fallen in mommy love with my Baby J. He is not ours, but who else does he belong to but us?
I carried him home from the hospital. I care for his every need. I wipe his tears when he cries. When he’s tired, we have mommy and Baby J time. I hold him and he rubs his forehead on me for comfort. If he screams a certain way, he is hungry. If he screams another way, he is tired. If he says “dada”, he wants Daddy to play with him. If he says “mama”, he wants me to hold him. When I get him from nap, he greets me with the most genuine, loving smile. When I lift him out of his crib, he squeezes me tightly and expels a long baby sigh.
Simply put, I am his momma and he is my son.
But I signed up for this thing called “foster parenting”. A situation that provides an opportunity to love extravagantly, but also offers no guarantees.
Courts, lawyers, and case workers team together to make decisions for his future. At court, everyone but me speaks to Baby J’s future. I am not asked to share input as to how he is doing nor does the judge acknowledge my part in Baby J’s life. (I have never felt the judge was ever against us, by the way. I am merely sharing my lack of participation in the legal process of his future.)
In those moments, I am harshly reminded that I am not really his mom and he is not really my son…..
It means our life together can be a bit of a roller coaster.
We aren’t supposed to share details of his case. I can say that it seems he will get to stay with us, but we aren’t totally sure either. There is one very unlikely scenario that someone possibly related to him could try to become involved. There are a lot of details regarding this that simply aren’t substantiated yet.
Though that scenario seems unlikely at this time, Jeff and I have gone from thinking we were going to be able to adopt him to wondering IF we are going to be able to adopt him.
This past month, his caseworker visited (as she does each month) and we talked over these new, though unlikely, possibilities. As we spoke, I must have not been myself because she asked, “Are you ok, Dana?” I couldn’t contain my tears. I shared with her how much we love Baby J and cannot imagine life without him. I can’t imagine gathering all of his things and meeting someone at my front door and handing him over and saying goodbye. What would he do without us? What would we do without him?
—-to be continued