Tonight as I tucked our foster baby it hit me like a ton of bricks. I love this baby. I mean I really love this baby.
It might shock you that I haven’t experienced this before tonight. I mean we have had her for a little over six months now. And she has been easy to love from the beginning. But it was love with a “little l”.
Part of the problem is honestly she wasn’t able to bond for many months. It is a sad reality of a child in the foster care system. She had been shuffled so much, handed off to worker after worker and spent a lot of her first six months in daycare (not a dig against daycare, just trying to make a statement about how many people were in her life).
The other half of the problem if you want me to be really honest with you…. I have held back. I have kept part of my heart safe. I had to. We all have except for Silas who went all in from day one. That boy loves her fearlessly. He has taught us all.
As time has gone on I have been worn down and this little girl has wormed her way deep into my heart. She has come out of her shell and this amazing little personality has emerged. She has always been easy going and happy but it was a generic happy. Now she has highs and lows and makes her feelings known (oh does she!!).
This weekend we were at a birthday party with a large crowd of strangers. Normally she will not seem to differentiate between strangers and family. In fact she did spend a lot of time getting passed around my complete strangers and it didn’t phase her. But she got scared by a loud noise and immediately crawled over and up onto my lap. This. is. a. big. deal.
It is a bit heartbreaking that as she starts moving more and more towards reunification she is finally bonding with us (especially because I have observed her with her mom and this isn’t the case with her).
But this is the way of foster care. And it would be wrong to pull back and prevent her bonding. Her bonding to us is a very good thing as far as her development goes. I often worried she wasn’t able to bond. She has come such a long way in six months.
But it will make our goodbye much harder…….
(to be continued)