Friday, July 26, 2013

{Forever Friday} Always in Our Hearts

Today's {Forever Friday} post comes from an amazing guest blogger Andrea! You can check out her blog Live With Laughter at: www.live-with-laughter.blogspot.com where she blogs their adventures, trials and joys. They are a homeschooling, foster care, and adoptive family. 

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"What do I do with his hair?" She smiled and walked out the door. Just a few hours before our phone rang. It was "the call". A twelve week old baby boy needed a home. In the flurry of getting ready, somehow my husband and taken off with the kids to Cub Scouts. After they left, the doorbell rang. Baby J entered our home and our hearts. A chunky African American baby boy. I had a multitude of questions. The one I that popped out of my mouth was about his hair. Then the door closed. I washed my new son and did the best I could with his hair. I prepared a bottle, something I hadn't done in three years. He snuggled right into me and fell asleep.

My husband and boys came home to a whole new person in our home. We reset our family. We started new and fresh. We loaded up the following morning for a field trip. Nothing like up and at 'em right away. We went to a petting zoo. My friend showed up with her double stroller for me to use with her baby girl. All the children gathered around. There were seven other kids, the glanced at our new boy and ran away, it was time to pet the ducks. What amazed me was that none of my friend's children questioned this baby. Maybe they were just used to having a little one all the time. None of her kids asked where he came from, who he belonged to, or even why he was so much darker than the rest of us. He was just a baby, and nothing more, nothing less to them. Just a drool covered baby who was boring and the ducks and emus were way more fun. It made my heart soar. Our town is nearly all white and I wasn't sure what reactions I would get. I had a few funny looks, but it was amazing how everyone accepted this little soul as my family.

I had to go out of my comfort zone fairly quickly. There were lots of people to talk too, calls to make, and questions to answer. My very first "out of zone" question was in the hair aisle. I was looking for hair products for Baby J. I found an older African American lady. I said "Um, excuse me, this is really weird, but what should I use in his hair?" I pulled back the blanket to reveal my little man. Her eyes widen in surprise and then she explained everything I should use and do to care for his hair and skin. She was so sweet and gave me a hug before she left.

Our lives went on fairly normal. He was an amazing baby. So happy all the time. He rarely cried. He had the biggest smile I'd ever seen. He drooled. A lot. It wasn't because of teething, he just had the biggest smile, the drool wouldn't stay in his mouth. He was a big kid, and he just kept growing. We loved him. We started foster care to adopt a daughter. However, this little boy wrapped himself right around our hearts. His birth mother had stopped attending visits, so I didn't have that aspect of foster care. She only had two visits, I never even met her. So we were just living our lives when the phone rang again.

Baby J had grandparents. They wanted him. They already had custody of J's brothers. Brothers I didn't even know he had. They had called just hours after he was placed with us. The system worked, but very very slowly. They didn't get to see him for nearly eight months. We had a visit and they were the nicest people. So thankful for us keeping J loved and safe. Then they had a week visit. Then it was time to say goodbye. I walked into his room when he woke up that morning. I memorized his sweet face, his curly hair, his beautiful dark eyes, and his sun shattering smile. I knew this would be the last morning he woke with me as his mommy. We played for the day, I packed all his belongings. I made a special box with our family photo we had done, his first Christmas outfit, a special ornament, and a few other items for him to have. We loaded him up and kissed him and said goodbye. And I cried.

We tried to get used to the quiet. His laughter was so loud, that the house seemed oddly quiet without him. After a few weeks we accepted a placement for a little girl. A few days after that, we got a call. "Come to his birthday!" We were thrilled! We walked across the field and saw him. He came to us. Granted it had only been six weeks, but he came running to us. I scooped him up and had the strangest feeling. He was mine, but wasn't. We met all his family, his brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins. Oh, how loved he was. My heart was so happy. He was right where he belonged. He was home.

We have seen him for all his birthdays except one. Just recently he turned 4. I cannot believe he's four already. I don't know if he knows who we are, the random people who show up at Chuck E Cheese every year. But every year, he smiles his giant smile, and hugs us and whispers "I love you" and lets us take a bunch of pictures. His grandparents are amazing and I'm so thankful that they allow us to stay in his life. Foster care is hard. Saying goodbye was horrid. But knowing my little guy is loved and safe and happy, it makes the heartbreak worth it. A part of him will always be with us, in photos on the wall, in our memories, and always always always in our hearts.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful, just beautiful. I can't think of anything else to say! I'm so glad you're still apart of his life and that the grandparents are so great!

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