She’s gone. Coconut’s social worker came, and in 5 minutes we had all of Goldilock’s belongings packed into the car. I tricked that sweet precious baby, and told her that she was going on a ‘visit’ (she used to have them with her biological mother). She loves visits, so trusting me, she happily let me lead her down our sidewalk and into her into her carseat. Dressed in a beautiful green Christmas dress with embroidered reindeers on the bodice and a pretty red bow in her hair, she gave me a big hug, a loud kiss, and declared with glee, “I’ll be right back, Mama!”. I managed to smile and turn to my favorite social worker whom I now consider a friend, give her a reassuring squeeze on the arm, and get into the house before the sobs came. In a blink she was gone.
Even though I tried to keep my mouth shut tight so I wouldn’t cry out, the tears just flowed down my cheeks on their own accord. I had to stay strong for my older ones; wailing and moaning is not a luxury a mother can afford. Casey was weeping openly, and poor D.J. was desperately trying to comfort me. I had to ask him not to even lay a gentle hand on my shoulder, for I knew that his sweet touch would break me at that moment. Instead, I simply stood firm and watched as Goldilocks drove away to meet the grandmother of her half-brother……people she had never even met, whom live twelve hours away.
Cradling Casey and holding D.J.’s hand, the flashbacks flooded my mind when Goldilocks first came. What a difficult child she was! She had been placed into three different homes in three months, and a ‘little devil with the face of an angel’ was the best description I could have given her then. I remembered distinctly the day that I called her social worker, pleading with her to, “Come and get this girl!”. Little Coconut had simply tried to give her a kiss, and she bit through his lip…….it was the last straw. Needing a therapeutic home for her, the agency asked us to keep her just a little bit longer. We agreed, and settled down with the task of taming her. Two weeks later, we had her turned around, and eight long months and many tantrums later, we fell in love with her.
I wasn’t supposed to fall in love with her. She was not mine to keep. The agency was completely upfront with my family, that there were three different relatives that wanted her, that it was only a matter of time. They had originally said that we would only have her for two months, then six months……all of which would have been fine with me at the time, because she was still resisting us and still giving us a fit. Then her birthday came. On that night, she put her hand into mine, looked me in the eye, and both of us just fell over the edge, into a love shared by a mother and her daughter. On that night, I knew I was in a whole heap of trouble. The day I made that phone call to ask for her to leave will forever haunt me……..never dreaming that there would come a day when I would have begged and pleaded for her to stay.
Dave and the kids felt it too, and for the last five months we have felt that we were living on borrowed time. Two of the relatives were denied as placements, then an administrative glitch held up her leaving for another two months…….just enough time for us to start hoping. Yet, we knowingly deceived ourselves, and the day arrived. One year and two months after that sweet and sour tornado invaded our home, we had to say goodbye.
I do not feel sorry for myself, as I willingly set myself up for this exact type of heartbreak. There was plenty of time to change my mind when I decided to become a foster parent. The whole process of being approved as a foster family takes close to a year…….ample time to reconsider purposely putting myself and my family in the way of a devastating loss. Yet, I just couldn’t decide not to do it……wouldn’t decide not to do it…….I had received a call from God, and there is no turning back when you hear that. Watching my children and my husband go through the pain of Goldilock’s departure……that is another story entirely. I would give anything to take that from them, but I know that it too is part of God’s plan. Trusting Him is the only thing that has kept me from being a basket case.
Her new family is very excited to have her, and have been sympathetic to our loss. They told us that she is doing well, and unlike here where we homeschool and are at home most of the day, she is away from home and busy from dawn til night. At the one week mark, we were even able to see her through Skype. She was happy to see us, but there was a disconnection to her that made me so very sad. At only three, I did not delude myself into thinking that she would be devastated, nor would I wish her to be…….but, it still hurts to be so easily replaced. Fighting the urge to contemplate on why we even do this, when at such young ages, they will probably not even remember us, is difficult at times. I can only pray that we instilled enough love into her heart, that her new family will continue that mission, and know that God will handle the rest. Praise Jesus for allowing us the time that we had with her.
Whoever said that following God’s Will was easy………