October 2, 2014 by greenhouse04
Baby M. quietly entered our lives in January. Most people were surprised at the sight of a new baby in my arms. No gifts were given, no cards sent, no phone calls made. His entrance into the world was unheralded by most except the Department of Children and Families, the court, and the foster agency. His mother never had a shower thrown. Neither did I, the woman who became his real mother, caring for him day-in and day-out, loving him as my own.
Now, we have said goodbye. Over two weeks ago I handed Baby M. to another person’s arms for the last time, said goodbye, kissed his cheek, and watched him walk away. There was no farewell party, no funeral or wake, no meals delivered or cards sent.
And this is all ok. Don’t feel guilty if you know us and were one of the many who barely noticed the arrival of a new baby in our family, and who barely commented on his departure. There is so much pain, so much uncertainty in foster care that the quiet transitions are the easiest and perhaps the best.
After all, how do you joyously welcome a child who is not your own, who may not stay? A child who has suffered the grievous loss of his mother, and who suffered at her hands before that?
How do you say goodbye when that child is entering the home of his loving father who has committed to caring for him? How do you mourn for a child who is still alive and living where he belongs?
To tell the truth, I don’t know. I don’t know how I would like people to help us welcome a new child and say goodbye as they leave. I don’t know because I don’t even know how to feel on these occasions. My feelings change. And in those circumstances, sometimes its best to be quiet.
To be quiet, and rest in the presence of One who sees and knows everything – where this precious child came from, where he’s going, and who he is.
So, just as I whispered hello, now I whisper goodbye to the darling child who quietly entered our lives last January.