October 2, 2014 by greenhouse04
It’s high time I wrote the final chapter in Baby M.’s foster story. His story started back in January, and at the same time I began my series of posts titled “Chronicles of a Foster Family.” Now, these “chronicles” are at an end, because M. has returned home to his father.
Baby M. went home over two weeks ago, on Monday, September 15. His dad came at noon, stayed for lunch, then left at 1:30, carrying his son in the car seat. Baby M. left our home the same way he had many times before; this time, however, as he slipped through the front door, he also slipped out of our family forever. Hopefully he will remain in our lives for a long time, hopefully he will even be in our home again, but he will never again be a part of our family.
We really couldn’t have asked for a better home-going for M. His dad went to the foster agency in the morning and signed some papers giving him sole custody of M., while I spent the morning drinking in our last moments together while homeschooling Eddie and Emma. Then M’s dad drove out to our place in time for lunch. I could see the excitement on his face as soon as he got out of his car. When he walked into our house, his eyes immediately found his son, and they were full of love and triumph.
We ate pizza and grapes, and we talked and laughed. We rejoiced with M’s dad, and I rejoiced that Baby was going home to people who truly loved and wanted him.
When lunch was over, I gave M.’s dad some gifts – a few children’s books and a photo album. The album chronicled Baby M.’s first 8 months with us. We were his first family; we were insiders to his brand-new life. We were witnesses to so many of his “firsts” – his first smile, first laugh, first time sitting, first food. In the weeks and months ahead we will miss his firsts – his first tooth, first step, first word. It will be our turn to exclaim with surprise over how big he’s grown since last we saw him. It will be our place to be outsiders on his growing, changing life.
After we were finished looking through the album together, Baby M.’s dad rose to begin leaving. I gave him the bags of Baby M.’s belongings that I had packed – his clothes, diapers, food, toiletries, and toys. The dad went out to his car to get the car seat and I held a very squirmy 8-month-old on my lap in my home for one last time. Then I handed him to his father, kissed his squishy cheek goodbye, and watched them walk out the front door.
He was gone.