Tuesday, May 20, 2008
The time is drawing near to let go of Baby Bug.
The clock is ticking and our time with Baby Bug is running out. As a result, simply put, I'm struggling.
Another milestone has been reached in her case. Beginning this week, her parents now have visitation with her Monday-Friday, 9 AM-4:30 PM. It's almost to the point where they have more time with her than we do. I know this is as it's meant to be.
By the end of this month, we will have had Baby Bug living with us for 6 months. The past 6 months with this precious child have been hectic, chaotic at times, and somewhat muddled (lack of sleep and all) but it's also been joyful, rewarding, gratifying, and a blessing.
At 6 months old Baby Bug has more hair (I put it up in a little pony tail at the top of her head this morning for the first time). She's more vocal, wants more interaction, is getting 2 teeth, is trying to sit up on her own, is rolling over a lot, and is quite engaging. She's back to sleeping through the nights, although she likes to wake up at 5:30 AM still to play and then go back to bed around 7 AM. She is a beautiful child who is good natured and quick to smile. She charms everyone she meets. She has melted my heart.
Last night after tucking her (and the other two kids) into bed, I had a bit of a pity party. I laid in bed with Oronzo and cried at the thought of her leaving for good. I explained to him that, although he seems to have come to terms with this inevitable conclusion and has found peace with it, I am still struggling.
I truly admire Baby Bug's parents and I'm proud of the painstaking progress they've made with their case plans. They're still both 100% compliant and anxious to have their daughter back home. Intellectually, I support this and I know it's right for her to be reunited with her parents but my heart still aches at the gradual letting go.
I told Oronzo last night that I'll need his support now more than ever (as the visits increase) and when she is reunited with her parents for good. I need him to allow me to grieve, without reminding me, "We knew this was the way it was going to be early on."
I told him that I need to be the one that packs up her things and carefully places them in her bags to go home. I need to have quiet time alone with her to hold her, say my goodbyes, and pray for her.
I need to see Snuggle Bug holding her one last time and I want to take their picture together. Based on how attached he's gotten to her, I know he'll miss her too. After Baby Bug is gone, I'll probably want to pull Snuggle Bug into my lap and rock him as I used to when he was a baby, just to remind myself that I have a child that is most certainly staying.
I warned Oronzo that I'm going to be emotional for quite a while after she's gone and that I'll want a bit of time before we're put back on the open call list for another placement. We'll still have Boo (I assume) and I'll be content with just her and Snuggle Bug for a while as I grieve for Baby Bug.
I also told Oronzo that I want to approach Baby Bug's parents and ask if they'd allow us to be a small part of their lives, even after Baby Bug returns home. We've had a good relationship with them from day one, so I hope they won't feel threatened by this request. They don't have much family or a lot of friends here in this city and I'm hoping they'd be interested in counting on us for friendship and support even after they're totally finished with CPS and the system. I'd love to be able to visit occasionally and see Baby Bug grow and develop, maybe attend her first birthday party or take her to play in the park with us.
Of course, I understand that this could all just be my little fantasy. Her parents may say, "We'd rather not, we just want to put this all behind us." Or maybe they'll tell us "Yes, that'd be fine," but then never return our calls. I have to accept that once Baby Bug returns home to her parents for good, I may never see her again. I pray that this is not the case because she'll be taking a piece of my heart with her and I want to know that she's happy and safe.
Please pray for me as I accept that it's time to truly begin to let go, that my role in Baby Bug's life as her advocate and protector is nearing it's completion.