The title of this post sounds dramatic, and it was. After our awesome weekend with S that I wrote about two posts ago we had a daytime visit with our younger two. The girl, who we will call C and the boy who we will call P.
This day was a very full day at our house as we had a paperwork meeting at the county right before picking up the kids as well as a school meeting (which I will write more about later) first thing in the morning. The meetings all went well and we raced over to see our kids. It had been 4 days since we last saw them (due to S’s weekend visit) and I was excited to spend more time with them. We got there and C and P were playing with chalk outside. C announced that she drew me in chalk. The resemblance was minimal but I didn’t expect anything different. I was so happy that she had been thinking about me since our last visit. Their foster mom gave us some things to bring to our house (we are moving them over slowly) and we headed for our house.
On the ride down we noticed that C tends to answer questions that are directed at P and we had to remind her that we are so excited to hear what she has to say but we want to hear what P has to say as well. They were both excited to see the house, their rooms and meet the puppy. When we got to the house, both wanted to be carried as our dog was quite a bit bigger then the dog at their foster home (who is like 5 pounds). We held them and let our puppy sniff them and showed them around the house. Soon they became comfortable and wanted to be put down to walk around. It was P’s nap time and my overachiever plan was to show him his room and then put him down for a nap. Now I realize that plan was NEVER going to happen! P was WAY too excited and curious to take a nap, hopefully future visits go better…nap wise.
We played around the house, C picked out a color she wanted her room painted (same as S so we will just paint it in a different way), and then went to the park. We went to a different park then with S when she visited b/c the S park was the school park and it was a school day. The park we found was awesome, quiet, and had things that were the perfect size for a 3 and a 5 year old. P was a bit anxious about climbing this one play structure but also looked like he really wanted to. Inside I was so worried and anxious that he would fall and die, but encouraged him and said I would be right there for him. Well, I was SO proud when he got all the way to the top! The picture I took of him shows how proud he was too!! When he got down he said “I made it to the top because of my big muscles, right?”. When Joel asked if he wanted to go again, P looked at Joel like he was crazy and said no. LOL, that is so my kid. I did it once, beat the anxiety, no I am done!
C had such a fun time at the park! She was swinging and a great climber and did monkey bars while sitting on Joel’s shoulders. At the park you could see that there was some concern that if we were paying attention to P then we must have forgotten about C, something we are also seeing in our conversations with S. When we would notice that, we would go over to C and engage with her, at least one of us. It was so nice and easy as we were one-to-one with regards to parent to kids ration. When all three get moved in for good, we will have to revise the strategy!
Well, after the park we came home and Joel made a delicious dinner! The kids ate EVERYTHING and asked for seconds! SO different then the oldest who is such a picky eater! I found a little something for dessert and then we said goodbye to the dog and house to drive back to the foster home. P and C both wanted to take the giraffe stuffed animal that we had waiting for them on their bed back with them to the foster home so the kids, Joel and I, and the stuffed animals all loaded up in the cars. We all chatted for the first part of the car, but slowly the kids began falling asleep. First it was P, then C til they were both out like a light!
Now, I know the title of the post is “Watching Their Hearts Break” and so far this post seems fun and happy. Well, this is where that stops and where, when this happened my heart broke right along with theirs. Here’s what happened: We pulled into the driveway at the foster parent’s house, parked and went to get the sleeping kids out of the car. Joel went to get C and I went to get P. We have noticed that C is more comfortable around Joel and P is more comfortable around me and figure we will just go with that. Anyway, C woke up ok and went inside. Evidently once she was inside she went to her room to cry because she was sad that she couldn’t live with us now. We knew it would be hard for her when, on the way back she asked “if we get lost (on the way to the foster parents house) can we just live with you forever (starting now)?” Parenthesis added by me for your understanding. That was sad, but she is at an age, 5, where she sort of understands what is going on.
P however, does not really completely understand what is happening. I now think that he thought on that day that he was coming to live with us full time forever. When I was unbuckling his car seat he woke up and started crying. I tried to comfort him by saying “It is ok, we are at the foster parents house. You are ok.” It was at this moment that I began to watch his heart break. When he realized where we were and that we were leaving him there he started sobbing and reached up for a hug. I picked him up and he cling to my neck like he was being swept away to sea. I tried to start walking inside and he cried even harder simply saying “but forever”. (To explain C had been saying “When we live her forever…” a lot that day.) I held him for a bit outside, then Joel came out and held him and we went inside. The foster mom held him as we were getting ready to say our goodbyes. C and P both started to cry again and you could see their hearts breaking right in front of our eyes. It took every ounce of strength that I had not to just put them back in my car and say “To Hell with Transitions!” As we turned and walked away, I think C understood that we were coming back, but P in his little 3 year old mind did not. In his life when people left, no matter what they said, they didn’t always come back. My heart broke for what these kids had experienced and what they are still having to experience.
Adoption does not fix all the wounds. In placing the orphans with families, new wounds are created. It is the hope that the family that is being created out weighs the wounds that are created in the process. This is not a pain free, heart break free experience on any side and anyone that tells you it is, is lying. My children had known more heartache in their short lives that God ever intended. And now, now that God has found them a family to love them they have to go through more heartache (leaving everything they know, learning all about new things and new people, loss of contact with people that were important). I don’t understand, and will never understand, how God can allow such hurting to happen to people so innocent and deserving of protection. It angers me, but not at God, at those that hurt my children. Those that left and didn’t come back, those that saw their hearts breaking and didn’t soothe them. Then I feel bad for the anger I feel because these people that I am so angry at are the same people that choose life for my children and are forever a part of their stories.
So many different feelings! All I know today is that I long for the day when I can hold my children as long as they need me when their hearts are breaking!