Tuesday, January 22, 2008

One Year Ago

One year ago we were saying goodbye to our foster baby J. It was both terrible and wonderful. Wonderful because I was pregnant with the twins, feeling miserable and not really able to give any of the kids the energy they deserved. With her gone I wouldn't have two night feedings and all the things that go along with an almost 6 month old.

Terrible because I took her to a complete stranger's house with all of her stuff and left her. Alone. Without me. It was just sooo wrong. We'd been together everyday since she was 15 days old. She only knew us. Why couldn't we have had "playdates" leading up to the new placement? I'd have happily done the driving to the new house for weeks to let it be a smoother transition. Maybe an over night visit.

When she left we took a much needed vacation to Puerto Rico, where I spent my time worrying about her. When we got back there were no messages waiting. I was heart broken. Then we finally found out that......"Oh, yeah,she's been in the hospital." What?? Why not call me so I could visit her. I am the only one who has taken care of her for her entire life. The new foster mom has a policy of not touching her babies when they are hospitalized for fear of bruising them and the possible consequences of that. Oh my, just when she needs physical contact the most she gets none.

I was really angry
-at myself for not being able to keep caring for her
-for never having fully fallen in love with her
-at the system for moving her without any transitional period
-at the new foster mom who seemed so cold
-at her biological mother for not just letting her become available for adoption now since she clearly had no desire (or ability) to care for J herself.

I was so sad for her life to be abruptly changed because the adults in her life had failed her. Last July she went to live with her pre-adoptive family. The DSS called us in the fall to ask permission to give our names to the pre-adoptive family so they could contact us. I was so excited. I have hundreds of photos, hours of video. I've met her birth mom. I brought her home from the hospital. I gave her her first real bath, her first taste of solid food, her first breath of non-hospital air, her first trip to the beach and the woods and the mountains. I want to share that with her parents. But they've never called us.

There is nothing I can do now to make this right and for the rest of my life I will feel guilty for letting her go and wonder where she is and how she is doing.


Ben said...

We all wish we were stronger, or more energetic, or wealthier, or whatever it is we lack to do more good in the world. Don't be disappointed, be proud of the stability and love you gave her while she was with you.

Also, this post very nearly had me crying at my desk at work. There is nothing as emotional as thoughts of children born into a difficult situation.

Ruth & Charlie said...

Glad I was not the only one with tears reading this blog. Heather I had children/babies I had to let go also and still to this day wonder about them....but the pain, hurt etc gets less over the years. What if she had had a foster mom who did not give her the mother's love you gave her those 6 months?? You gave J a great start in life, just remember that.