I am up early today, my Mama heart is achy, he doesn’t know that we are counting down the days yet, but I do. One more hug, kiss, giggle and bedtime snuggle, I peeked into his room for one more glimpse. Seeing just how much he has grown and changed this past year. The Crew doesn’t know either, I am living in the limbo of when, how much time is the right amount of time, is it days? Hours? The goodbyes never get easier.
The last time he left, I talked about sending him forth that it was time, his biological family needed him. This past year+ was getting him ready to go back to them. I am sending him forth like an arrow of hope.
The hardest part for me sending “forth my little arrows” is all the unknowns, the what ifs and the hope that this time it will work. Those first nights back, when his four year old brain must be so confused and his heart divided. The first nights back when the routine has changed. The sounds have changed. The foods, details and rhythms have changed. The desperate Mama heart prayers that this time his family found all the healing they needed. The plea that his time with us was fashioning him into the arrow he needs to be, that he is ready. These are the thoughts that keep me awake at night, consuming all my thoughts, the places in my soul where the ache radiates from.
One of the most common comments I get in regards to fostering, is that people don’t know how I can do it, how I can give them back. Well, in four+ years that never has gotten easier, the ache feels just as overwhelming as the first time. Each situation is different and sometimes parents are more ready than others. In some situations I can see the “why” more clearly and that gives me a clearer target, of where we are going. Other times, I am just sending them forth with a prayer they get where they need to be.
In the days to come, I am packing bags and collecting memories for the goodbye that is coming. I am savoring the giggles and soaking in the hugs, living in the paradox that each one confronts me with our reality. I am reminded yet again that time is a gift. The time has come for this Little Guy to be sent forth from my quiver to another.