It’s moving day!
Yes, we are finally here 🙂 Today is the day we get to go pick up our girls and bring them home to start FOREVER together!!
It’s funny how things are never quite as you imagined they will be.
Even though I’ve been waiting for this day for so long…now that it’s finally here I don’t really feel all those emotions I thought I would. Well…I do, but they are alongside others that don’t fit so well.
I am so excited, of course…I mean, why wouldn’t I be?!? My daughters are finally going to be here with me, where they belong. I love them so much and I miss them when they’re not here. I love our weekends together, knowing that they’re here within my grasp. That feeling of walking downstairs after we’ve tucked them in and said goodnight a thousand times and gave kisses and backrubs and cuddles…it’s amazing. I love knowing that they’re safe. They’re just up the steps, safe in their pink room and pink beds and pink pajamas. I will know and hear if they are scared or lonely. I can take care of them. When they’re two and a half hours away…I have no idea what they’re doing or how to help. So I can’t wait to have them here with me.
But the last few days I have also been hit by this tsunami size wave of FEAR.
From now on…everything is going to be different…and I’ve never really been that great with change.
Never again will it be just my husband and I…our little family of 2 that I know and love and am so comfortable in. From now on we will always be a family of 4, not 2. This isn’t really anything to be afraid of…except that I have no idea what that is even going to be like or feel like all the time. And I will miss being a family of 2. I am so in love with my husband, and I will miss it just being the 2 of us. I know what it feels like to have children, because we’ve had children in our home lots already…but other times it wasn’t forever. Eventually, they always moved on and it was just the 2 of us again. It’s overwhelming to realize we are really at the end of this stage, of it just being us. I know it’ll be good…and I won’t even think about it. But I have so enjoyed the last couple months, after having kids around so much in the past year, to just enjoy being a couple. I will miss that. I know from experience that having children around does not make your marriage less rich or exciting, but I do know that it’s harder. It’s harder to find time to talk. It’s harder to have energy to do things that are fun and crazy…just for the two of you. It’s harder to get in date nights. It’s harder to know every little thing that’s going on in each other’s lives. It takes a lot of energy and time to parent…and that often means other areas can get neglected a bit sometimes. Lucky for me I have a pretty amazing husband who is always willing to go that extra mile to make sure that I don’t just feel like a harried mama, but also the love of his life ❤
I always imagined what this kind of day…the actual day of moving our child home…would feel like. Immediately, you get all these images running through your mind of tears of joy, hugging, kissing, smiling…perfect. After all, there are tons of home videos on YouTube of parents meeting their child for the first time or bringing their children home. But without having done this day yet, I know that’s not exactly a complete picture. To be honest, I am dreading this day a little bit. I wish we could skip over it, because I’m not sure how to best handle it. My girls are not tiny, wide eyed, oblivious one year olds being passed over to their new Mommy and Daddy by cheering nannies. My girls are 5 and 7, and they know exactly what’s happening today. We have been going over and over and over this for weeks now. Today is the day they are saying goodbye. They are saying goodbye to the families they love. They are saying goodbye to the only normal they know. They will see their foster parents cry today, and they will not know what to do with those big feelings inside. I know what it’s like to be a foster parent…and I have no idea how to stand there and watch someone else’s painful goodbye while I wait for my child to come to me. How do you do that well? I’m not sure if it’s more or less complicated that we’ve formed a friendship with these families over the last couple months. Does that make it easier or harder? I think that once the last goodbyes and hugs are given and we are strapped in the van on our way home…we’ll all be fine. We’ve done that part a thousand times now. But it’s just that inevitable moment where you have to watch your little girl give her ‘Mommy’ that last hug and kiss goodbye. There is no pretty way to cover up that pain. Right now, they don’t understand why this needs to happen. They’re excited, they’ve bonded and they love us…but they don’t understand why it really needs to happen. Especially my 5 year old. It’s not fair that to get one thing she loves she must give up another. Those feel like adult decisions, not something a child should have to grapple with.
But…that is the reality.
We will get through today…and maybe it will be better than I could ever hope 🙂
Tomorrow…on the first day of forever…things will feel pretty normal. The girls will wake up around 6:30 am, start giggling and chattering to each other and creep downstairs once the alarm goes off telling them they may get up. We will eat breakfast…probably Fruit Loops…and go for either a walk or a bike ride. They will play with their dolls and maybe run in the sprinkler if it’s warm. We probably won’t be thinking about forever or goodbyes. In the next week sometime, when they start feeling homesick, we will call and talk to their foster moms and tell them all about what we’ve been doing. I’ll send emails and pictures whenever I think of it, to let them know we still value the love and energy they gave to our daughters and let them see their smiling, happy faces…because that is such a gift. Eventually, after maybe six months or a year, when we know it won’t do more harm than good, we will go back and visit. Maybe we’ll play at the park together or just hang out in the backyard. We’ll build the tentative first straws of a new relationship. One day at a time we will become a family…us 4. The girls will eventually have that first day where they call me Mommy every time they talk to me, instead of sometimes Alicia. One day they will be able to talk about how they came to be here, in our family, without that shadow of fear and confusion in their eyes. We will start our own traditions, build our own memories and life will become normal.
I’m ready to begin that.
So…if you read this before 1:00 pm today, June 24, 2014…please say a little prayer for us. We could use some help today. Mostly pray for Akeisha and Alexa…because more than anything I wish we could become a family of 4 without them having to go through this pain and loss. They’ve already dealt with more pain and loss than is fair. Pray that they will be able to do one day at a time, and that they will feel safe and loved…always.
For the next few months we’ll be doing lots of hibernating here…spending as much time as possible just making sure we know who our family is 🙂 Busy starting forever.