and finally…we truly begin the goodbye

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sunday evening, I filled two pages with schedules, food likes and dislikes, favorite things, sleeping patterns, discipline, anything I could think of that summarizes the last ten and a half months with our sweet Baby D. It’s disconcerting to see your entire parenting ‘life’ laid out on paper as if that’s all this time has amounted to, a list of preferences and habits. Today, we gave it to the relative that he will be moving in with in a few weeks. We’ve moved toys and clothes to their house already, every item making this whole thing a little more real.

The irony of it is that I’m not sure they’ll even need it at Baby D’s new home. He is ridiculously happy there. Today was the longest visit he’s ever had – 9 in the morning to 7:30 at night, and he was…well…fine. He ate, he played, he loved on his baby sister, he took a nap there. In his bed. Without tears.

I don’t know what it is about this particular baby. He is bonded to us, sure, but he seems to have always known this wasn’t his true home. It’s the strangest, most inexplicable thing. Children’s Services always looks at me like I’m reading too much into things, but I’m sorry, they only see him once a month for an hour. They don’t see the difference between our house and this new home. They don’t see his goofy grins and hear his happy jabbering in the car once he knows that we’re headed to a visit at the relative’s house. They don’t hear him talk about his baby sister here at home.

Writing out that sad little list made me think once again that I can’t do this. Send him away. Live without him being part of our family. The thought of it takes my very breath away.

Seeing the picture of him sleeping peacefully this afternoon reminded me that this is exactly what we’ve hoped and prayed for. I am surprised, shocked actually, by the ease with which this transition is going. I am beyond sad that he can’t return to his mama, but I could not be more at peace with where he is going, with how he will do there, with how he feels about this family, and how they feel about him. We couldn’t have hoped for a better ending given the situation.

Tonight, I’ll work on his baby book. Curating pictures, writing down memories, praying that it will someday be treasured by him because he won’t remember us. He won’t remember how we held him, rocked him, sang to him, prayed over him those first few nights (and since) while he grieved for his mama. He won’t remember his siblings while he lived here, how they kissed him and played with him and chased him around the living room. How they catered to his every whim. He won’t remember how he would run as fast he could to the door when Wendell came home. He won’t remember that I taught him where his nose was and kissed him until he was overcome with laughter. What I pray he will remember is how it felt to be loved, how it felt to be safe, how it felt to be a part of a family. Hopefully those are memories that we’ve built into his soul. Memories that make this time with us worth it.

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