Was It All A Dream?

Yesterday marked one month since our Little Man left us to live with his birth family.  Our transition over the last month has been better than I expected in many ways, which feels odd and kind of inappropriate to say.

As I fell off to sleep Sunday night, I couldn’t help but wonder if much of the last year was a dream.  How do you go from two adults living “normal” life to parents, literally overnight, back to two adults without falling apart, or being less than human?  How is it that I have mostly been okay these last four weeks?

I wish I knew the answer. Since I am the religious kind, I feel like God has been very good to us…He knew we needed Little Man, and when, and He knew when we could survive without each other, I guess.  (Of course, some would argue that God was mean in taking Little Man away…but then He gave us James too…so complicated and yet, I choose to see the good and be comforted by it.)

Please don’t misunderstand…I miss our Little Man and yet, I have somehow been able to go on, to live life without constantly looking around the corner for him, or hearing his phantom laughter and chatter in the next room.  I have not sat for hours in front of the computer watching video’s of us laughing and playing — only a few minutes here and there — and I mostly smile when I do. (Perhaps it is because I was finally allowed myself to be third trimester exhausted!?)

Of course Little Man is still with us…his picture remains all over the house, and as my iPhone screen saver.  A friend noticed that the other day and seemed surprised.  It just seems natural to me.  He’s been my screen saver for ten months, why change it just because he’s not here.  (I’m sure it will get updated in a few weeks when there are new and noteworthy pictures to be had!)  When Dad died, I didn’t take down all his pictures…just because someone is gone, doesn’t mean they have to be forgotten (or eradicated).

We did take the advice of experienced foster parent friends to put all the baby stuff in the nursery and shut the door when Little Man left.  This weeks project is going back in there and getting it ready for James – which I am ready to do.  At 35 weeks, we need it to be ready just in case.

Perhaps the best news of the last month came a couple of weeks ago, when we heard from the CPS case worker that Little Man’s new (to him) family says he’s”lovable, strong, and healthy.”  That made me happy.  It was reassuring to know that his sweet disposition traveled well.  I don’t think you can undo “baby-never-missed-a-meal” in two weeks, but you can lose your zeal for life and an infectious smile.  “Lovable” translates to happy and laughing in my Mama brain.  And that makes me smile.

Little Man may never have memories of us, beyond pictures in a book, but the imprint of us is in him, and his spirit is in us…and that’s an awesome gift.  Even if it feels like a dream.

Goodbyes

I have a friend who, pretty much right up until she delivered, wasn’t entirely sure about the whole becoming a mother thing. She took to it fine, and is a great mom with awesome kids,  but until she actually became a parent she wasn’t a big fan of children and didn’t necessarily consider herself mom material.

My sister is the opposite.

If ever there was a girl born to motherhood, it is her. She’s been a caregiver from day one; she started babysitting earlier (and kept at it longer) than anyone I know. As a college student, she collected roommates who needed mothering, and she’s been taking care of all of us in the family for as long as I can remember.

Last fall – as she’s written about here on the blog –  she and my brother-in-law welcomed a baby into their home as foster parents, and she finally got to be mom to an actual baby, instead of, well… everyone. She and Chris both took to it like naturals, and to say Little Man thrived in their care would be an understatement. (I generally referred to him as “baby never-missed-a-meal.”)

Of course, fostering isn’t often a forever situation, and it proved not to be in this case. They’ve known since March that their sweet boy would be leaving, but because the wheels of bureaucracy turn slowly, he was with them until this morning, when he was transitioned to a member of his birth family.

I don’t know how to finish this post; I’ve been trying for a while, and words are just failing me. To say that I am brokenhearted for them, and sad for our whole family – because in addition to becoming their beloved son, Little Man was also a nephew, a cousin, and a grandson – doesn’t scratch the surface. Come this fall, there will be another baby in their lives, and Eileen will get to be a mom (and Chris a dad) once again, but they – and we – will always have a spot in our hearts for Little Man.