Anyway, I was looking through some of my old notes and stumbled upon some that I wrote after S's very first visit at our house. We'd met her a few times before as she would come with the parent aide to pick up the boys and to drop them back off around birthparent visits. She never really got past the foyer on those brief encounters. But this was the first time we really got to "test the waters" and spend some time with her to see if maybe she could live with us and with her brothers as things began shifting in her then current foster placement.
October 14, 2003 (also my Dad's birthday that day!)
Last Thursday, <their birthmom> called and said she was too sick for the visit, so instead, S came to our house and we had a visit here. The parent aide stayed to document the visit, which was a little nerve-wracking and then add in the grandma factor*, but overall, I think the visit went really well. I think I scored bonus points with the parent aide by remembering that S didn’t have her glasses on and remembering to ask S if she brought her homework so we could work on it. We did work on her homework – a paper she wrote about the fall – but we also played outside on the swing set and running up and down the driveway like the boys enjoy doing, we had dinner (I threw together chicken pasta Alfredo and green beans), and we played Play-doh. Before we knew it, the time was up and we were sad to say goodbye to S.
I found myself missing S about two days later. It was a strange feeling. We were out doing something and suddenly I had a sadness in my gut and in a moment, I realized the sadness was because S was not a part of our family outing. The sorrow came unexpectedly and lasted only ten minutes or so before I was back to dealing with the boys, but it was a significant moment for me that I feel necessary to document. We’ve been busy with our guest and I haven’t even had the time to talk about it with C.I never realized how blonde S is until she was with us for those hours. While she looks a lot like H, you can definitely see their physical differences. It was a short time, but I definitely bonded with her some. The awkwardness of our relationship moved aside and I found that she was easy to talk to and to direct and it seemed that she got along particularly well with C, when he offered his (more helpful than mine) suggestions for her homework. She smiled as he talked about the shorter days and how that affects the color of the leaves and the production of chlorophyll – too much information for her paper, but I think she appreciated his involvement and perhaps even his knowledge. She was stubborn about the spelling of words and didn’t agree with my suggestions, but all was well when I pulled out our dictionary. Relating with her felt natural, despite the extra people in the room, and I felt the beginnings of a different kind of relationship than I have with the boys and yet, still motherly in nature.I cleaned out her room today while the boys napped (in preparation for her upcoming overnight visits). Got all the computer stuff out of the closet and piled it in the guest room for now. We won’t have time to paint before Thursday, but we want to try to make it a little nicer for her so she feels welcome and not just “squeezed in.” We’ll go to Target tonight to get a few more things for her room.
*My grandmother (G.G. to the kids) was visiting us that week from California and though I'll always be thankful she got to be there for the first visit with S, I think it was somewhat confusing for S to have her there -- one more "stranger" in an already strange situation.
The more recent update is that S has continued to have limited contact with us here since her departure on June 1, but I value just knowing she's alive and that she's finding her way. I know the Lord is with her. I pray in faith that we will see her again. My heart still aches about the way she left, but is confident and hopeful about her return.
(If you are reading this, S, I hope you know that I love you now so much more than those early days -- when I already missed you after just spending one afternoon with you. I look forward to seeing you again so I can give you big hugs and hold your hand again and remind you just how much you are loved.)