Every night before I lay baby “J” (our 17 month old foster daughter) down in her crib for the night, I sing her the song from Tarzan. You know the one, the Phil Collins song, “You’ll be in my heart.” This song takes place in the movie is after Tarzan’s parents have both been killed and the mommy gorilla has stepped in to raise Tarzan. Now, I am no mommy gorilla and baby “J” is clearly not Tarzan, but this song describes my absolute love and adoration for her. In fact, just a few nights ago when singing to her, she actually started singing along with me. It was probably one of the most adorable moments I have had with her and I had instant tears knowing she has “inherited” my love for music.
In less than 5 days, I will have to do the unimaginable and I can’t stop crying and questioning my life.
When we started our foster care journey almost 3 years ago, we knew we weren’t going into it for adoption. After all, life with our 7 is overwhelming in itself some days. I have always been open to adoption and if I could I would probably adopt every single child in the system. I ask God all the time why He made my heart have to care so much about kids. I mean, some people have 2 or 3 kids and are perfectly content and happy. Why do I not feel content with just helping raise my 7 kids to be helpful and useful human beings to society? You’re probably wondering where I am going with this. Here’s the very very very short version for protection of baby “J.”
We have some friends. They have one child. They have always wanted more but haven’t been blessed with more. We started talking. Baby “J” looks like them. My friend expressed interest in Baby “J” if she was going to become adoptable. They took the foster care classes. They are getting their license in a few days. They have bonded with Baby “J”. Baby “J’s” case is moving towards adoption. They want to be her forever home if God works that way. Baby “J” loves them and is happy with them.
In just a few days, I will have to drive my sweet baby girl to her new home and leave her there forever.
I know I agreed to this. I knew this was coming. We could have kept her and adopted her, but for a multitude of reasons, we are choosing to let her go. I want to think that no one can offer her a better life than what we could have. She is a million times over loved and adored by all of our kids. In fact, Kenadie who never wanted to touch a baby in her life, has the sweetest bond and love with Baby “J.” That sweet baby girl makes her rounds in our house on a constant basis. When one sibling is too busy to play with her or hold her, she moves on to the next one. She has our undivided attention and brings our home so much joy.
I don’t know how to love just a little bit. When I love, I am all in. 100%.
Because “J” came to us and hasn’t had any parent involvement, it was so much easier to bond with her. She didn’t have another mommy to offer her love. She didn’t have another daddy to play with her and make her giggle. She was 10 months when we took her in and she needed to learn attachment and love. Apparently the opposite happened…I became attached to her and my heart could explode with love for her.
We have had her for 7 1/2 months. I love her. I adore her. Letting her go will be harder on my heart than moving from WI to FL. I feel like I am giving a piece of my heart away. Like I am choosing to give one of my own away. Who does that? Why did I agree to this? Our family has put in so much work with “J.” She was a completely different baby when she came to us. We have taught her so much. For goodness sake, she can say “dog” and meow like a cat. If we aren’t winning at parenting with that, I don’t know what else we could have done?!? Her smile melts my heart. Her hugs and kisses make me feel like we were able to teach her how to love. At the end of the day, she will forever be a part of me.
I feel like we were her family to help her heal and her new family will be the family to help her thrive.
She is going to be just fine with our friends. She is going to be better than fine. I am positive they are going to be the most amazing family for her which is hard to say because I think we are a pretty amazing family too. We are giving them something they have dreamed of and prayed for which is also hard because I have always dreamed and prayed for more children as well. I want to be selfish and tell them no…no you can’t have her, I love her too much. However, because I love her beyond my simple typed words could ever explain, I am letting her go.
There is no book for this. There is no person or friend I can call and talk to about willingly giving a piece of your heart away. I feel confused and sad and heartbroken.
I will enjoy my last few days with her. I will hold her a little bit longer before laying her down for the night. I already give her a million kisses a day so she better be ready for 2 million the next few days. I am basically planning on being a hot mess and crabby for the next month until my heart can heal a little bit. Again, I know I am choosing this for her. Keeping her would be much easier at this point, but as her foster mom I need to do what’s best for her and for my family. Since she doesn’t understand and is going to be the luckiest little girl in the world having 2 mommies that will forever love her, the only thing I feel like I can do is pray…and write this letter to her.
To my sweet baby girl…
December 18th will forever be a day that I cherish and remember. We got a call asking if we could take a 10 month old baby girl in right away. Within an hour you were ours. I remember the CPI’s dropping you off and saying, “Good luck with her, she doesn’t sit still.” Boy, they were right! You were a wild child from the start. My love for you was instant.
The past 7 months you have changed all of our lives. You have grown and healed. You have learned attachment and love. You have developed a love for cats and dogs and birds and hamsters. You have bonded with 7 siblings. You have changed and you have changed us.
You love to “beep” our noses and “ding dong” our belly buttons. You love to read picture books and turn the pages faster than anything. You have started singing with me or when the music comes on in the car. You LOVE to take care of your baby dolls. You learned to love Cabbage Patch Kids possibly more than I do. Your first word was “Dada” and you love to look for him in the morning when you wake up and crawl on him to wake him up. Molly always comes to find you when she comes home from work and put chapstick on you. Sadie likes to play with you and be silly with you. Abbie thinks you are the cutest baby in the world and you love when she tips you upside down…you also love her dog, Pumba. You love to go knock on Kenadie’s door and find her and her kitty cats…you even give them cat treats now! You love your “Gaa Gaa” (Gavin). He takes you to the pantry and helps you get snacks and is always willing to hold you and carry you around. “Laa Laa” (Lanie) is simply your best friend. You light up when you see her. She takes the best care of you and you prefer her the most out of anyone in the house. Griffin has warmed up to you knowing he wasn’t the youngest anymore. He takes such sweet care of you and always tries to help you when you are sad. You are loved beyond words by all of us.
Please know that we didn’t not want to keep you. Maybe one day you’ll be able to understand when you are a mom that you will do anything for your children to make their life better. Baby J, I want you to have the best life. You deserve the world. I don’t know what your first 10 months of life looked like, but I do know that in the 7 1/2 months you were ours, you were deeply loved. You will forever be a part of my heart and forever my baby girl.
This bond between us can’t be broken, I will be here don’t you cry. Cause you’ll be in my heart, yes you’ll be in my heart. From this day on, now and forevermore,
Please pray for me if you think about it over the next few days. We have talked about taking a little break from foster care to let our hearts heal…however, I seriously just got a call from placement. They have so many kids needing homes. I don’t know how long I’ll be able to say no when I know my heart can love more. I told Dan that I think I need a puppy to keep me distracted and busy…too bad I’m more of a kid person than a dog person.