Wednesday, May 9, 2012

So......he's really leaving.

This weekend we are having Dude's going away party.

The party is really more for all of our friends than for Dude - we want to say "thank you" for all of the gifts and support and flexibility everyone has shown us since December 19th, when he arrived.

All (almost) 5 pounds of him.

It has been a difficult few months. Our entire life was put on hold to take care of this very unexpected holiday delivery.

First, he slept all the time and I had to strip him naked and rub his feet to keep him awake long enough to eat.

Then he cried for 6 weeks, pretty much every time I put him down.

So I held him. All the time. I held him while I cooked, I held him while I worked, I held him while I tried to sleep sitting up on the couch. I typed one-handed for over a month.

And then he started to blossom into his own cute little self.

And he got bigger.

And became an important part of our family.

We are all sad to say goodbye. And we planned the party this weekend to both say thank you to everyone, and to give everyone the chance to say "So long, pal" to Dude.

This afternoon when the social worker called to tell me that they were accelerating the reunification plan, I was sad, but really thrilled for his mom and dad. I know they are anxious to have him with them full time, and they have worked very hard to regain custody. They are sober, healthy, and attending classes together. And as a result of getting clean, and bonding with this amazing baby they have created, I feel confident that their priorities are in the right order. It is yet another thing that we are celebrating - his parents, and their accomplishments.

So it was great news to hear he would be one step closer to being with his mom full time.

And then they told me that this was going to start on Friday.
This Friday.
The day of the party.
The party for Dude.

I almost burst into tears.

For six months, my life has been in someone else's hands, and lived according to someone else's schedule. It was not convenient. It was not easy. But we managed to make it work. Dude was the priority.

Hearing that he would not be at his own going away party was was too much. This is not about me, or the party, or the end of our custody. And it wasn't about Dude, I know that. He doesn't care about saying goodbye to everyone. He doesn't need a party.

This was about trying to have some closure for our family - and our community - and having that opportunity squashed. And how could I say "He can't be with his mom Friday night - we're having a party for him." That would be ridiculous, I know. It would be selfish. But it seemed so wrong, to have everything end so abruptly, with n notice. To not let everyone give him a hug goodbye and whisper their blessings in his ear, take a picture with him, smell his sweet baby head one last time...... that seemed selfish too.

So I took a deep breath and said, "Here's the thing."

And the worker understood, and was very kind, and said it could start Saturday morning instead.So beginning Saturday at 9am, I will drop him off with his mom, and he will only be at our house 3 nights a week. He will officially be spending more time with his mom than with us.
And from there it will be just a few more weeks until he is with her full time.

And the baby stuff will go back in the attic.
And I guess everything will go back to normal.
Whatever the hell "normal" is.

Bye, little Dude. We're sure going to miss you around here.


Elly said...

Oh lady, you are amazing. Fostering seems to be such an emotionally charged thing, you're a rockstar, hey. Happy thoughts!

Leslie said...

I don't know your whole story, but hearing this just breaks my heart. Without even knowing the details I feel that Dude is better off with you than his bio parents. Is that bad to say? Maybe, but it sounds like you guys are an amazing family and I'm sure he'll miss you :(

Kristina said...

Lovely. Just lovely. You are giving the best kind of juju to Dude and to the universe. I'm sorry we didn't meet at Camp Mighty, but I'm pretty sure we will meet sometime. I look forward to it.