We arrived here almost 6 years ago. She was two weeks late. The bags packed for a month already. She’s stubborn. Our plans didn’t go the way we thought but she’s here. She’s here. Life will never be the same, in the best way possible. Breathe in, breathe out.
Trial and error.
All the feels, the indescribable joy ones.
“May these words be the first To find your ears. The world is brighter than the sun Now that you’re here.Though your eyes will need some time to adjust To the overwhelming light surrounding us”*
We arrive back almost 4 years ago. This little one was 5 days late. Drop off big sister, pack less than half that we did for our first. She’s here a little quicker. Our plans were loose this time, my worth isn’t attached to her way of arrival. We’re confident in holding her. She looks just like her big sister. They act completely different. Breathe in, breathe out.
We’re parents again.
Back to work.
Heart feels like it might explode.
All the feels, the ones with love birthed out of love.
“I’ll give you everything I have. I’ll teach you everything I know. I promise I’ll do better… I will soften every edge, I’ll hold the world to its best, And I’ll do better.” *
We arrive back to the same parking lot 1 year ago. We turn right instead of left. We meet in the lobby with a lady with a badge. Today we are meeting our first foster daughter. There’s no flowers. No balloons. No tears of joy. We go up to the correct floor. Officers meet us at the elevator. Brace ourselves. Turn the corner. Walk in. Breathe in, breathe out.
Tears of sorrow.
Pick ourselves up.
Watch our girls adjust to life with someone new.
Intersection of family.
All the feels, the hard bittersweet ones too.
“Сause you are loved. You are loved more than you know. I hereby pledge all of my days
To prove it so. Though your heart is far too young to realize The unimaginable light you hold inside” *
No answers. Craving answers. Living in the unknown over, and over, and over again. . Try to catch your breath. Always aware but not fully realized that this could go 4,000 different ways. Empathy is the only thing that saves us from us vs. them. Breathe in, breathe out.
We are here again. A year later. Different floor, same path. More confident but more blindsided. Up the elevator. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. Scrub hands and place a blue plastic gown around my body. It’s time to meet her brother. The one we didn’t know existed. He looks just like his sister. Tears don’t flow this time. The gravity of his start and the knowledge he might go with a relative is forcing a brain shut off but we hold what we are given until we know any different. We transfer our love to him and we pray truths over him. Breathe in, breathe out.
Empty crib at home.
All the feels, the practical ones too.
“…I will always hold you close, But I will learn to let you go…With every heartbeat I have left, I’ll defend your every breath.”*
That’s all we had to give…retracing our steps. We didn’t know that the last time we put him in the swing would be the last time we’d see him. We won’t be taking him home after all.
Tug of war.
Sterile court dialogue.
There’s no right answer.
There never will be when we pick up the pieces and try to recreate the puzzle that already had a disorienting picture from the start.
We pack up his things. A million questions plague me. What does this mean for her? What will her 14 year old self want us to do? There’s no way to know the identity work she’ll do regardless of the decisions adults make when she’s 2 years old.
The burden to advocate and chose well sits on my chest. And we could walk away. We could. We could chose a different path and take our family’s outcome over sitting in the unknown. We could do that. It might happen to us anyways, a gavel hitting the wood and changing our whole dynamic and beginning our grief work this winter. So no one would blame us getting off the emotional rollercoaster…but would she?
The truth is love is worth walking on the same floor not knowing the outcome.
And we’ll walk it over and over again, leaving behind the broken pieces of our hearts that are scattered across the path…
…knowing that her worth is more important than trying to recover all of these pieces again. They wouldn’t fit together anymore anyways.
And so we will wait.
Breathe in. Breathe out.
*Light, by Sleeping at Last