Friday, August 15, 2008
It's done- Baby Bug is gone.
Today was hard and it ended up being much, much harder than I expected.

We had Baby Bug with us all morning and most of the afternoon.  I gave her a bath this morning, played with her, took her for a walk, fed her, rocked her, and marveled at her new ability to pull herself up to cruise.  I watched her giggle and play with Snuggle Bug and Boo.  I talked to her, explaining what was going to happen, just in case her baby brain could understand any of it.  I prayed for her and her parents.

I soaked in every smile, every laugh, every hug that she shared, knowing that these would be the last that we'd share with her in our home.   I took many pictures of her these past two days.

Then, the time came to load up the car with her belongings, pick her up and walk her through our house to say, "goodbye" to the home that she's shared with us for the past 8 1/2 months.  I loaded her in her infant car seat one last time and made sure she was buckled in safe and sound before loading the other two kids in.

Oronzo and I called her parents to let them know we were on our way so they were at the door waiting for us when we arrived at their apartment.  Baby Bug's dad took her from me and gave her a big hug.

We brought in her belongings and I gave both her parents a hug and told them how proud I was of them and how happy I was for their family.  Baby Bug just smiled her big bright smile the whole time.  I even took a final picture, of her parents holding her...a family reunited.

Then the bomb was dropped.

I reminded Baby Bug's parents that CPS had pushed through a final $300 clothing allowance for Baby Bug, even though they knew she was going home, and that we'd received the money.  I had made plans with Baby Bug's mom last week to schedule a shopping spree when we got the money.  I figured that even though the money was issued to us for Baby Bug, her mom might appreciate being able to pick out the clothes for her daughter.  Last week her mom sounded enthusiastic about the idea of going shopping with me.  So, this afternoon I asked Baby Bug's mom when she'd like to schedule this joint shopping spree.  

That's when they spoke up and told us that they'd decided it would be best if there was NO CONTACT for the next 2 1/2 months.  They said they'd invite us to Baby Bug's 1st birthday party on 8 November, but until then they felt it would be better for their family to have time to bond.  They knew how attached Baby Bug is to our family and worried that if we were visiting, she'd suffer from separation anxiety when we left.   They told us that they'd talked with their child therapist about it to make sure that no visitation from us wouldn't be harmful to Baby Bug (if the therapist had said it would be, they would've gone ahead with visits) but the therapist told them she'd be adjust and be fine.  So then they discussed it with the CPS worker and let her know their decision.  Apparently we were the last to know.  Baby Bug's mom mentioned something about this being her first decision as a parent and she was nervous about it but she felt it would be best for the adjustment and bonding of their family.

Needless to say, I was floored by this whole conversation, because up until today we'd been lead to believe that we could see Baby Bug occasionally, have play dates with her, and be a source of support for their family.  We're even listed on their Safety Plan that was presented to the judge (if something happens we're on the list to call if Baby Bug needs a safe place).  I was shocked to hear that they'd changed their minds (when, I don't know exactly but at some point) and that they felt it best that there would be no contact until at least 8 November.

I managed to choke out that I respected their decision and I asked if they'd be okay with me calling on occasion to see how she was doing and they said that would be fine.  They even offered to mail us pictures.

They thanked us again for all that we've done for Baby Bug and for them.

Suddenly, saying a final "Goodbye" to Baby Bug was more painful than I could've imagined.  I've always felt that this goodbye would be bearable because I'd have the chance to see her again, to be assured that she was okay and to watch her grow.  But there I was having to give her a hug and a kiss with a fake smile on my face, trying not to cry in the process, wondering if this was really the last time I'd lay eyes on her.  

We left and once we got to our car and pulled away, I couldn't stop crying.  I was so devastated and felt like an idiot for building up this fantasy in my mind of how it would be, how we'd become like extended family to them and be a source of ongoing support for their family.  I had convinced myself that I'd be able be like a beloved aunt to Baby Bug as time went by.  It hurt to have the rug pulled out from under me and to understand the reality that her parents probably just want to put all of this behind them and move on with their lives, without us involved as a reminder.

Poor Snuggle Bug, he asked why I was crying and Oronzo explained to him that I was sad because Baby Bug was going to live with her parents forever now.  Snuggle Bug asked, "You okay, mommy? Don't cry."

I begged Oronzo not to drive us directly home.  I didn't think I could face walking into the house knowing that Baby Bug was gone for good.  Oronzo took us to the mall instead where we stayed until Snuggle Bug and Boo were too tired to stay any longer.

Here's the thing, I don't actually blame Baby Bug's parents for wanting a couple of months to totally bond with their daughter and to have her realize that they are her parents and now her only caregivers, without her affection for us complicating things.  It's just that the way this decision was sprung on us the day we returned her frankly hurt.   I felt as though someone had punched me in the gut and knocked the wind out of me.  I guess it would've hurt even if they told us a week or a month ago.  I guess there's no easy way to explain such a decision.

The sad thing is that I feel like I've lost trust in them.  They say they have every intention of inviting us to her first birthday party in November and that they'll even invite us to her baptism sometime after that, but I find myself having a tough time believing that.  It feels too much like this is the end of the line.  We know they're moving to a bigger place when their lease is up in October but we don't know where they're moving to (they don't even know yet) and I suspect that we won't be told.  I really will be shocked if we're invited to her 1st birthday party.

In the end, I need to focus on what's important, as Oronzo gently reminded me today.  We've done our job and done it well.  We took in a failure-to-thrive baby and gave her all the love, attention, and affection that we had to offer.  We had a small part in helping her parents get their lives back in order and get their daughter back.  We returned their daughter to them healthy, happy, and well adjusted.    We've done our job as a foster parent.  That has to be enough.  All that's left now is to try to stop crying (I think that will take me a while) and to find some comfort in this truth.  All I can do now for Baby Bug and her parents is to pray for them, and I will.  Baby Bug will forever be in my heart and prayers.  As our first foster child, she will always be extra special to me.

I do want to thank you all for your supportive comments in my past posts.  Your words touch my heart and I appreciate the comfort you offer.

I'll get through this.  It's just going to take some time and probably a whole lot more tears.  

Thank goodness we have our keeper, Snuggle Bug.  I take comfort knowing that he's not going anywhere!

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8:10 PM

At 9:51 PM, Blogger Chelley said...

my prayers and hugz are with you at this really tough time!!
Be kinda to your self and let your self cry

At 10:04 PM, Blogger Erin said...

I am so sorry that BB's birth mom dropped the bomb on you like that. I will pray for you and BB as she transitions back to her family. I pray that the parents truly want time to bond and there isn't another reason they are changing their mind about contact (like they are worried about you noticing something that's not right and reporting them). Hang in there and take time to grieve. ((((hugs))))

At 10:33 PM, Blogger Forgetfulone said...

Sorry about the bombshell. The picture of Baby Bug is so beautiful! I know you're feeling heartbroken. I'll pray for you and Baby Bug right now.


At 10:51 PM, Blogger beth said...

Oh, I am about to cry for you. I can't imagine what you are going through. I will be praying for you and your family.

At 11:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am heartbroken for you. There really just not enough I could ever say. Praying for you!

At 12:02 AM, Blogger Kelli said...

"Job well done, thou good and faithful servant". This is all that came to mind as I read this.

My heart breaks for you, but rejoices in what you two have accomplished.

Love you, sweet friend.

At 2:04 AM, Blogger Guenivere said...

My heart goes out to you and your family. There are no words I can offer up but will be praying for you, your family, BB and her family. I wish I could reach through the computer and give you a big squeeze...consider yourself hugged and loved by many.

Be good to yourself and let us know of any specific prayer requests that are on your heart.

Jen O.

At 4:46 AM, Blogger MamaGames - Alexa C. said...

I'm in tears too. I can only imagine what this heartache feels like for you.

I've had it in my heart forever that once we have a larger home, we'd foster. But there's always been that little word of doubt asking me if I could truly handle the emotion of loving and then losing the children... and I have to do much more soul-searching.

Thank you for being so completely honest with the world and letting us understand how this is playing out.

At 5:37 AM, Blogger Liz said...

how terrible! i am in tears, i can't (don't want to)imagine going through that with our sweetpea.i am so sorry.

At 6:04 AM, Blogger Jen said...

I'm so sorry this has been so hard on you. Keep your faith in God...that is all we have. Things will get better in time. Try to focus on the other kids and have a good weekend.

At 6:13 AM, Blogger Miss Notesy said...

I'm sitting at my keyboard crying. How awfully sad that you had to say such a heavy goodbye. Here's a big bloggy *HUG*.

At 7:07 AM, Blogger ChupieandJ'smama (Janeen) said...

I'm sorry that you had the bomb dropped on you. I can't imagine how hard it would be to let that little girl go. You did a wonderful job with her. I'm praying for you both.

At 7:32 AM, Blogger Carey said...

Im sending prayers and hugs your way all day.
You did an amazing job taking care of her.

At 7:46 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I wish I could say I was surprised by this turn of events.

Unfortunately, I can't. You have done a wonderful thing for Baby Bug and her parents and deserve to have continued contact. However, you are also a symbol to them of what could arguably called the worst time of their lives.

I hope that they do maintain contact and invite you to her birthdays, etc...

My pessimism comes from personal experience. We took in my BIL and his 10 year old daughter for two years. During those two years, my BIL stayed in the basement "finding himself" while Jim and I raised his daughter. It ended badly. He didn't allow us any contact with her. She's 19 now and contacted us this summer. After six years, she's back in our life.

I know the tears I shed and the pain I felt losing her. She was two months away from her 13th birthday when they left.

At 8:19 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Sorry, I entered too soon. Sera was "helping". :O)

As I was saying, I am intimately familiar with the pain you are feeling. If I can do anything, please let me know.

At 8:59 AM, Blogger Barb said...

I'm so sorry they thought it best to just drop this new plan on you. I can only imagine how you felt.

This is a beautiful, heartfelt post - I can feel your hurt and shock.

I hope you do find comfort in knowing that you did absolutely everything you could to nurture and protect this child. You gave her the best gift she'll ever receive.

I'm so sorry. Hopefully, you'll feel better about all this, with time, but I know this is very difficult for you.

At 10:24 AM, Blogger Jacquie said...

How heartbreaking.

You have made a wonderful impact on Baby Bugs life, she will alway have that with her. She will be a better person in life because of her time with your family.

Beautiful picture of her, thank you for sharing.


At 5:24 PM, Blogger Wendi said...

I have been a lurker for a while and I just had to comment. I am an adoptive mom to a 2 yr old sweetie from China. My sweetie was in foster care from 5 days until about 3 days before she was united with our family at age 9 months.

She was with the same foster family along with another child that was the same age. Both children were adopted at the same time. Although I think about Megan's birthmom I think about her foster mom the most. The woman who cared for and loved my baby the first nine months of her life.

I think about the saddness she must feel at losing both of her babies at the same time. Although I know her mind knew it was not permanent and that the girls will have a great life with their forever families in the US I know that her heart was screaming to see her babies grow up.

I guess what I am trying to say is that I am grateful that their are people like you who are willing to give their heart to a child even if there is a chance it might be broken. Thank you.

I am sorry that this family led you to believe there would be a transition period. Although I understand their stance I feel that it was unfair to lead you on.

I am praying that Baby Bug's life is full of joy, love and happiness and that your heart does not ache long. ~Wendi

At 7:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am soo sorry that Baby Bug's parents dropped a bomb on you like that. I know ou will be ok. You and Oronzo did a wonderful beautiful thing and I bet they really do appreciate what you've done and the love you have shown their child. You guys are in our prayers.

At 8:31 PM, Blogger Carrie said...

I just now found your blog. My husband and I are in the licensing process to become foster parents now. I can't even imagine the pain that you're feeling, but at the same time I know I will go through it all too soon!!! Just know that you had an impact on her, even though she's so young. And what a wonderful gift to give her - a loving home to be in.
I'll be back again.

At 9:59 PM, Blogger Just Lisa said...

I am so sorry you are hurting. As someone about to adopt through CPS, this is my biggest fear. May you find stength in the days ahead.

At 7:54 AM, Blogger Amy said...

Many hugs to you. You did such a wonderful thing for this family- they were really blessed by your sacrifice.

I have considered doing foster care, but I don't think I could handle this part. :(

At 8:25 AM, Blogger Lisa said...

My prayers are with you! I cannot imagine how difficult that would have been. Our daughter is four days younger than Baby Bug (and she was adopted), and I cannot imagine spending these nine months with her and then having to surrender her forever. God bless you for having the courage to be foster parents. I honestly don't know if I could handle that.

At 11:31 AM, Blogger said...

I can't even imagine. So sorry for the sadness you must feel...

She is absolutely beautiful. I pray that her life is full of joy, and that you WILL be a part of it.

At 11:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't even imagine how difficult this is for you. I will say a prayer for you, your family, Baby Bug and her family. You have given them all an amazing gift!

At 1:00 PM, Blogger threesidesofcrazy said...

I'm keeping your family in my prayers. Oronzo is right though - you did your job and you did so above all expectations. You matter in the life of this beautiful child and that's what is truly important. Now on the emotional side I'm in tears for you and know it will just take time.

At 4:36 PM, Blogger Stacy said...

She is indeed beautiful. Precious.

And you have done a beautiful thing in fostering Baby Bug for these past 8 1/2 months.

I am so sad for your loss and for the shock from her birthparents. Praying that God's will will be accomplished in their family's life and in yours.


At 12:01 AM, Blogger boysmum2 said...

She is just so cute. And you guys are the warmest loveable people I have ever known. What you have done is amazing and like you said, you have helped her when she needed it.
You have made a huge difference in that little girls life and that is the greatest thing ever.
Well done to all of you.
You are in my thoughts and prayers at this hard time for you. x x x

At 12:04 PM, Blogger Tricia said...

I am so sorry that this happened. You and your family did an amazing thing in helping out this family and I pray that they truly are back on track and Baby Bug will continue to thrive as she did with you. I also pray for you during this tough time.

At 5:10 AM, Blogger Nicole said...

What you have done for Baby Bug is more than anyone could have asked of you. I'm glad you are trying to focus on that good instead of the heartbreak you just suffered. I'm not a therapist, but as a mom, I can't imagine cutting someone so important and someone who is such a source of trust and consistancy out of my child's life so quickly. I wish they would reconsider and allow some visitation to make the transition easier for everyone (especially baby bug), but in the end, it is their decision. May God comfort you in this time....

At 9:41 AM, Blogger Ms. Kathleen said...

I hardly know what to say at all but just know that you are in my prayers and that Jesus, the Angels, everyone weeps with you at this time and I praise God that BabyBug came into your life and the life of her parents.

Hugs ♥

At 8:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a beautiful little girl you've had in your life. I'm so sorry things have not worked out as you have hoped and planned. God knows the plans he has for you and for BabyBug. I'm praying for you!

At 4:15 AM, Blogger heidi @ ggip said...

It's amazing how you have been able to help this little girl. Blessing and hugs to you at during this sad separation.

At 6:34 AM, Blogger Tamara said...

I'm so sorry I've been away, though my prayers have been with you all. It broke my heart to read about their change of heart about maintaining contact, though like some readers I was not completely surprised. I agree this will represent the worst thing they've ever been through, but it may be for all of you as well. I pray for peace for you all during this terribly hard time.

At 8:41 PM, Blogger Milk Mama said...

She definitely IS beautiful! I'm so sorry that she's gone now. Even sadder to hear that you can't see or hear from her for over two months. :(


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Name: Overwhelmed

My complete profile

It wasn't supposed to work this way...Parts 1 through 10

(the story of the private, domestic adoption of our son)

(Part 1)
(Part 2)
(Part 3)
(Part 4)
(Part 5)
(Part 6)
(Part 7)
(Part 8)
(Part 9)
(Part 10- Adoption Finalization)

Fostering isn't for the faint of heart!

(our journey to adopt again through foster-to-adopt, the good, the bad, & everything in between)

Adoption #2- considering the State
More Adoption #2 thoughts
Adoption #2- Back to considering the State
Adoption #2- The Paperwork (Round 1)
Adoption #2- The Paperwork (Round 2)
Family Foster Home Licensing Prep Checklist
Adoption #2- Long overdue update
PS-MAPP class homework assignment
Our preliminary home inspection went well!
Adoption #2: Licensing update
Adoption #2- Foster Facts
Adoption #2: I love it when things go my way!
Adoption #2- The home inspection
Adoption #2- We failed our home inspection!
Adoption #2- We passed the follow-up home inspection!
Adoption #2- Still waiting
Adoption #2- We're getting closer
Adoption #2- An update & a lead
Adoption #2- The lead that didn't pan out.
Adoption #2- We're licensed!
Adoption #2- We have a tiny baby here!
Adoption #2- Update on this precious little girl.
Adoption #2- Quick update on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- Baby Bug is staying longer!
Adoption #2- Baby Bug is growing!
Adoption #2- Overdue update on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- The latest on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- Shopping spree for Baby Bug
Being a Foster Parent Does Not Make Me A Saint
Adoption #2- Another Placement Call!
Adoption #2- Placement Meeting- UPDATED!
Adoption #2- We have Boo at our home!
Adoption #2- Meeting Boo
Adoption #2- I'm angry on Boo's behalf!
Adoption #2- A Birthday Party for Boo
Adjusting to three 3 and under!
Stressful moments in fostering.
Adoption #2- Update on our foster daughters
CPS Workers Jerking Our Chain!
It's getting much worse!
Fostering: Update on Baby Bug
Fostering: Update on Boo
The effects of fostering on Snuggle Bug
The time is drawing near to let go of Baby Bug.
Good conversation with Baby Bug's dad.
Boo has a Permanency hearing coming soon!
My heart is breaking!
Bittersweet news about Baby Bug.
Next Friday is going to be tough.
Packing up Baby Bug's belongings
It's done- Baby Bug is gone.
Working on finding peace, one day at a time.
Referral to the Early Intervention Program
Baby Bug update
Home Inspection for re-licensing
Parole granted for Boo's bio mom
Baby Bug is turning 1 year old soon.
Day 2 of Boo's permanency hearing
A prayer answered today!
Attending Baby Bug's 1st birthday party
Foster news
Good news for Boo's case
Boo's bio family visits
Termination Trial date set!
A new caseworker for Boo
I've been asked to testify in court.
Court hearing for "John Doe"
Contested termination trial begins tomorrow afternoon
Boo's adoption has been finalized!

Packing up Baby Bug's belongings
Next Friday is going to be tough.
Sorry for the sporadic posting.
My first sewing class.
Favorite Ingredients Friday (Appetizers & Snacks E...
Boo and her babies!
More tutus!
Favorite Ingredients Friday (Whole Grain Pancakes)
WFMW- free trinket boxes

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