Tomorrow we say good-bye.

Numbers 6: 24-26: The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Feels like we’ve been here before with this little guy. And so we have. Only this time, it’s for real. And so I reiterate my words from before: Baby M, we love you. And even harder than not getting to continue to raise you up through your childhood and beyond is the not knowing anything about what will become of you after tomorrow. I think that’s what hurts the most.

We give you over to the hands of God. May He watch over you and guide you all the days of your life.

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Heavy Hearted Parenting

While most of the country grieves over the loss of a Downton Abbey fav in last night’s season finale (which I’ve yet to see, but know what happened), I sit here today grieving over the loss that is to come for our family tomorrow. We’ve been here before, in deep sadness the day before we thought Baby M would be moving on the next day, but I’m certain that tomorrow it is actually going to happen and I’m just pretty devastated.

I do not know how to parent without getting completely emotionally involved. I’m not sure parenting any other way is really parenting. I’ve heard other foster parents talk about their families like this, “We have four home grown, two hand picked, and three on loan for now,” and it’s cute, for sure, but I’m not yet able to voice it like that. I don’t know how to keep a newborn baby alive for a whole month and then give him back as though the last month never happened. It did happen and we will have the formula-stained blankets and residual baby laundry and empty bottles left behind to prove it, for weeks after he’s gone.

Here’s the deal: I know he’s not ours and that he’s never been ours and that all along this was the plan. But when it comes time for the plan to be played, reason is too big a risk. While listening to the Wicked Soundtrack in the car today, I heard Elphaba sing in Defying Gravity,

Too long I’ve been afraid of
Losing love I guess I’ve lost
Well, if that’s love
It comes at much too high a cost!

And, yes, even the fictional wicked witch can reduce me to tears when the timing is right, which it was earlier today.

This love – it is love – it comes at much too high a cost. And I have very little left in which to pay.

And once again I’m left with my own personal cliché, that I repeat over and over to myself, to my girls, and to every friend and stranger who looks me in the eyes and says this is something they could never do (as though my heart is made of stone and it’s easy for me): If it didn’t hurt so much, we didn’t do it right. But even that knowledge brings little comfort to me tonight.

Because it hurts, dammit. It just does. And the truth is, I don’t know how much more I can do this either.

Maybe that’s the point? That we really can’t do it on our own? That we must lean so heavily on God to parent through us, to love through us, to give back the babies through us? If only I could lean that heavily on God tonight. Maybe I am, but I don’t know it because I’m just sad. So very sad.