469 days in our care.
I wasn’t home when they brought him. I walked in to see my husband confidently holding this precious 5 lb 2 oz baby boy with strawberry hair and bright blue eyes that hardly opened. We were already parents to our oldest Gabriel and we had been caring for a sweet baby girl for the past 5 months. In a quick minute the caseworkers were gone and we were the new caregivers to a precious jewel of a son. We now had a 20 month old, a 10 month old and a 10 day old. Survival ensued. We had no idea what was in store.
Fast forward 15 months-
We had court last week. I’ve been putting off the thought of actually being in court for a while. I woke up that morning with my stomach in my chest. Not because I thought they were going to take our little one but because I knew it was the end of a chapter and the beginning of a new. I knew I would meet his birth mother for the very first time as she faced the finality of her parenthood to our son.
I always get nervous the first time I meet our childrens’ parents. “Will they hate me?” “Will they think I’m trying to take their baby or replace them or speak badly about them?” “Will they be kind, or mean, or sad?” It is so hard to come face to face in such a unique situation. We have been very fortunate in our past cases that our birth parents have been very kind to us. But I know that isn’t always the case.
It’s even harder to meet your child’s parent after 15 months of no contact while sitting in a court room. She is beautiful, very quiet and soft spoken. He has her hair color, her nose and her fair skin.
He received a gift that day. One he won’t understand fully for a very long time. In a situation that beyond anything ideal, his mother relinquished her rights to give him a stable and hopeful future. My heart aches for her on a day you would think would be so hopeful for us.
Tears streamed down her face and mine as she said her peace and shook my hand, while pleading for assurance of his safety and future. I didn’t know what to say to the stranger who created my son. So, I told her it was my greatest honor to care for the little boy she birthed.
I left feeling melancholy. Why does one of my greatest joys come at the expense of someone else’s? How can I celebrate that? I am reminded by others repeatedly, that this is a result of her choices and this is her consequence, but that doesn’t remove the pain that I feel when I put myself in her shoes, and that fact surely doesn’t remove her pain either.
My prayer for her is that she finds peace in her circumstances and has hope for the future. New mercies are upon her and I pray she can move forward with grace. I am forever in awe of her bravery in the face of a painful choice and I will always honor that choice when it comes to raising our son.
To my sugarbean:
We said yes to you, trusting God, with no idea of our forever. You melted into our hearts so quickly that we knew a space would be made if the opportunity arose. Your blue eyes beam with joy at each person you meet. You quickly soothe at the sound of mama’s singing or the nuzzle of your favorite blankie. You are our tiny nugget of sunshine in the morning, a curious cat searching for knowledge and the perfect puzzle piece meant for our family.
Your brother, Daddy and I adore you and we can’t wait to make you officially ours. Counting the days my sweet mama’s boy!