Welcome to our story.
Is this about the twentieth time I've said Baby S might be leaving in just a few days' time? It sure feels like it. I'm glad he's still with us, because it hasn't been the right time for him to go back yet. It was supposed to be the right time this time, and then a lot of things changed in a few weeks' time. I know what I would do if it were my choice, but it's not. Maybe that's good, because I'm way too far into this thing now to be unbiased, although I really do try. My mama bear instinct has kicked in and it's pretty hard to shut down.
Wednesday is another court day. We've entered the "have his stuff packed or at least ready to be packed each court date" stage. It kind of drives us nuts, because we can't plan. But it's also become our new normal. So we'll get through this one too.
It's really weird to think about how big Wednesday's decision could be, because each time Baby S is "definitely going back very soon" and then doesn't, it feels less possible that he could leave. He's been with us for 16 months. He's 100% part of this family. It is 100% more crazy when he is here, because he is active and wild and enthusiastically happy about getting into everything because everything makes him laugh. But I'd still rather get up with him at 5:30 AM and chase him around home cleaning up a trail of destruction all day long than have him not here and sleep in and have tea on a veranda somewhere.
Of course I'd rather have him here. He's my baby. I want him here forever, with all of his crazy head-butting hugs and his sweet sloppy baby kisses and his love for hide-and-seek and his silly sweet hair that stands up in random places and flops around as he runs back and forth.
Just look at him. One tiger slipper on, trying desperately to communicate with Winnie the Pooh. Seriously. Super cute.
But how can I want him here when that means he's not with his Birth Parent? Josh and I are really and truly in this mainly because we think that reconciliation and healing in a birth family is the top goal and a wonderful representation of Jesus loving us and healing us although we were so very broken. This doesn't stop applying just because we love our foster son. But desiring reunification is not so easy when the things you see aren't pointing to success for parent and baby. We don't blindly desire reunification in every circumstance. This system is in place to protect children and families, and that means sometimes it is not right to send a child home right now.
Thankfully, as I'm foster mom, I am able to live in this limbo of don't-send-him-away and hope-he-can-go. I'm so glad I'm not a case worker or judge. I can throw my whole entire heart into my baby and fight for his good when it is my place and step back and let others make the call when it is their place to do so.
So it's confusing, and complicated, and ever-changing. So many changes. So many last-minute reschedules and please-pick-him-up-nows and rearrange-your-entire-weekend-pleases. So many we-need-another-meeting, just-one-more-meeting-will-help, they'll-listen-this-time-just-drop-everything-and-come-for-a-meeting.
I'm getting used to planning around not getting to do what we plan. I'm getting used to expecting visits to be cancelled when it's going to be crazy to re-arrange the morning. This is not because I'm being negative, but because it's currently the most likely scenario. There's a whole other level beyond flexible that we live in now, and it can drive you crazy, but it's life and you just keep going and try to laugh when possible and find the right people to cry to when not, and pray the whole time that God will preserve your long-term effectiveness even if the short-term sanity is lacking.
I can no longer wrap my brain around Baby S going. Saying goodbye every month seems worse than doing it once when it happens. And will I really be less blindsided if I go into court telling myself he's leaving?
We don't know how to plan, or how to think, or even how to pray. So for now, we enjoy each day we have together, and the ones we have that aren't together too. We try to paste on a cheesy smile and not yell at anyone when they ruin our plans because sometimes that's all I have left in me. We just ask God to help, because I don't even know what to pray for. But he promises that he knows what I need better than I do, so maybe it's better that way anyway.
Thanks for everyone who's praying and loving Baby S with us. Thanks for being here with us through our slow (not-so-slow?) descent into craziness. I love you guys for that.
We'll make it, guys. Through Wednesday and through however many other court dates are left with this guy. Not because Josh and I are sane enough or great enough or together enough, but simply because God is a big God who can do big things, even with broken people.