It think it is hitting us that the kids will be leaving really soon to go back with their mom. There is no better word than “bittersweet” for this situation. We feel like taking care of M & T has been a huge honor and blessing. They have brought so much joy into our lives and we love them deeply. It has also been a blessing to watch them transition to being with their mom more and more. She is doing a fantastic job of parenting them and they have done a great job handling all the changes. While we know T must know something is up, it is hard to see this in his behavior. The kid is pretty content as long as he is fed, played with and able to sleep. M is pretty much my hero. Her ability to be joyful and cooperative (well, as much as a 2 year old can be) and silly is a testament to her resilience.
My initial worry upon hearing about reunification was that her language skills would regress or come to a halt. When she arrived in March, she really did not talk much at all. It was apparent that she could talk if she wanted to and that she was very smart, but talking did not really happen unless she felt secure and comfortable. I am thrilled that this transition has had no effect on her language. She learns new words every day and surprises us with the combinations she is creating. We have prayed that both children would have peace in their hearts and God has been faithful.
The sadness of saying goodbye soon is settling in and both D and I are planning to deal with that by basically spoiling the kids over the next week. Is that a healthy coping mechanism? I’m not totally sure. But I’m pretty sure that some extra cuddles, later bedtimes and treats won’t hurt too much. Saturday night, after a fun time at the park with some friends, M said “Ieeee creeeem” in her sweet voice from the back seat of the car. Although bedtime was just minutes away, I told D he better get the girl some ice cream and that is just what we did.
Please pray for all the details that need to fall into place to make this transition go smoothly, including that the kids will have good good-byes with those they have grown attached to (beyond us). Court is early next week and we expect that they will be headed home sometime shortly after that.
As for us, we are going to head out of town for a few days and take a bit of time off. Chances are we will be parenting a new little one (or two) by early next month. We are going to miss M & T terribly but our desire to foster has not diminished and we are excited for who may come to us next.