Saturday, November 1, 2008

Well, yesterday was the day that Trinity's daddy got to take her home for good. We made sure that we enjoyed every minute with her this last week. We even forced her to stay awake a little later each night so we could spend more time with her. I (mommy) had a very hard time being strong about this in front of my children. When they went to bed, I cried rivers. I was beginning to worry. If I was taking it this hard with her still here, what would I be like when she left? Amazingly, I haven't cried since I said goodbye to her at daycare yesterday afternoon after the Halloween parties. I told her to be good for her daddy and she just giggled. She such a "with it" 11 month old.
People ask us all the time how we do this. The question has several meanings. Sometimes they are referring to parenting a more than the national average of children so close in age. The answer to that question is teamwork. My husband and I are a team. Our strengths compliment each other. Our relationship has to come first. We are the rock of our home. Jesus is the rock of our marriage. Our children rotate around us. We are not superhuman. We get frustrated and are not always rational. My oldest two children are grounded from ketchup for Pete's sake! I'm tired of the stains!
Sometimes they are referring to letting a little one go home. Our answer to that is, "We don't know." Trinity leaving us has made us question our calling. Will we foster many more children? Is the heartache worth it? Let me just say that this is the hardest thing that I can ever remember doing. When we brought that little girl home, she was three weeks old and had spent that time in the NICU with only 2 visitors on record. We knew that she would probably not be a permanent placement. She couldn't afford for us to put a protective wall up to protect ourselves. We know too much about attachment to know how important it is for a infant to have a bond with a caregiver. I was as bonded with her the first time that looked at her eyes as I was when I held my oldest son for the first time. As far as I am concerned, I became Mommy that day. I am confident that our efforts have made this little girl capable of giving and receiving love. People outside of the adoption/foster world have no idea how important that skill actually is. So yes, our efforts were worth everybit heartache and tears that we felt this week.
How do we do it? When I look at my oldest son, Landon, run, play, and laugh; I think of his life in South Korea. So many people think that all children adopted from overseas are in orphanages. That is not the case. A wonderful Korean foster mother took my little boy home from the hospital. She loved him, rocked him, clothed him, sang to him, and taught him how to love and to be loved. When he was six months old, she put him on an airplane to fly across the world. She will never get to see him again. He is the most caring, compassionate, 5 year old boy that I've ever met. I am so grateful to her. If she could do that for my boy, then we can do that for other babies. We will heal. A child with attachment disorder may not heal.

Some people ask the question with a hidden meaning. They are really just trying to tell us that we are nuts. We'll we know that, but quite frankly, what's the point in telling us. Please, keep that implication to yourself. We are a strong family, but this is a very tough time for us. People have said that we knew what we were getting into so we shouldn't get upset. Fooey on them. Of course we are upset. We love that little girl. They are the same people that bad mouth the foster parents that treat foster kids like foster kids and not birth children. Then they criticize us for showing no difference. Again, fooey on them.
Novemeber is National Adoption Awareness Month! Wear a white ribbon to support adoption!

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