One of the hardest parts about our forever kids coming home at the ages they did is having NO history for them. We don’t have baby pictures (minus about two pictures I “stole” from facebook that were poor quality). We have no clue when they met any of their developmental milestones. Not a guess as to what their first words were. No cute stories. Nada.
I am determined this will NOT be the case for “our” Rabbit and Monkey. I obsessively take pictures. I write down stories and phrases all the time. I try to document their life. I am working on a shutterfly book as we go full of these things. I want them to know that they were LOVED and WANTED and WORTH documenting. But how do I write down the way I feel when I hear Monkey says “ahhhhh MORNING!” for good morning each day? How do I articulate the involuntary smile I give when Rabbit says casual things in his yelling voice, no matter how crabby I am? “HI MOM!” How are we going to let them go? I don’t know, honestly. But I *do* know that the attachment they are forming with us will go with them. And that, my friends, is a GIFT. To them, and to their forever family. A gift is something voluntarily transferred by one person to another without compensation, says Websters. The “without compensation” might be the pain we anticipate feeling when they go.
Our big three were gone all week at day camp, and staying with my parents. It was the longest they have ever been away from us. We were really worried about all of it. Each day, J came home with amazing notes like “he is an example for all the campers.” Or, “Followed all of the rules.” HE asked US how our week was when he got home. He asked us how Rabbit and Monkey did this week. This kid who burned through foster and pre-adoptive homes…literally. He crawled into bed, rested his head on his pillow, and said – “Ahh…it feels like home.”
Tonight, as we were going through the “Kids need to be safe” bit, Rabbit mumbled something, as he often does. I asked him to try using a bigger voice (for like the 85th time that day), so he (SCREAMED) at me – “I AM HAPPY I AM HERE!” We’re happy you are here, too, buddy. And I ache for you to be home, wherever that is. (And you don’t have to yell).