Today is my sweet, ornery, (and stinky Mila would say) boy's birthday. Today was his second full day back at his 'not home' as he calls it. Today, January 14th, has been one of the hardest calendar days in the last three years. Today is a day that I long to have my boy home. Home here in Ohio.
I know that where he is his needs are met and he is cared for. Yet, each night I wonder how he must feel, having no one to tuck him into bed each night. No one to torment him about brushing his teeth nightly, taking a shower daily, a family yo sit down to dinner with. The night before he was to fly back, he was very sullen. I know to him, his trip to Ohio had to feel like a fairy tale come true. As he layed in his bed, head covered in his blankets so his Mom couldn't see him crying, I uncovered his head and told him: "Papa and I have have prayed for you every day for the last five years. There was a time I thought we might never see you again, and yet I prayed that God would have our paths cross again." We are so thankful for God crossing our paths again. Through his tears, he said "I thought too Mom..." (Meaning he wasn't sure he would ever see us again.)
I know as a person, as an adult, as a parent, I have my faults. No one's perfect. Yet, the last two nights I've wondered who has tucked him into bed--probably no one. Who has reminded him to make good choices? Who has been there to pray with him? Pray for him? He fits in our family. Our families have embraced him, and love him. How horrible it must be to go from living the fairy tale, where things are all rosy and everyone loves you, to the reality that you are one of many and it is their job to care for you. My prayer was, and still is--that we gave him enough love as a family, and knowledge to make good choices, and faith in God to sustain him until we see him again.
And I know tonight, I am not alone in my pain. There are many others that have felt the loss of a child--one that is theirs by blood or by love. Someone tonight is tucking their sweet girl into bed for the last night. A family has to say the same bittersweet good-byes tomorrow that we had Tuesday. A family has to explain to their children why one can't stay even though the fit in the family seems perfect. Life is a journey, just as foster/adoption is. Sometimes parts of that journey are painful, but the parts of the journey that are filled with laughter and love are worth the pain. That is what I have to hold on to--the laughter.