It has been exactly one year from the date we found out we would be adopting our daughter. One year! Sometimes the stress of waiting feels like a lifetime ago, and then I get small reminders and my heart feels thankful that she is forever ours.
Tonight, as I was going to bed there was a toy left out. A robotic puppy she has decided to drag around with her everywhere. It’s the favorite at the moment. She named it Better, which is totally adorable. For a moment, I’m annoyed that I forgot to have her clean it up before she went to bed (we’re really big on picking up our toys in this house because the dog chews them up if they’re left out. One time she left out her favorite baby and the dog chewed off her hand. Let’s just say, it was a little traumatic).
But then I remember a time before adoption. Before adoption I would have situations just like this. Toys left out, stickers on the wall, her laundry to do and I would think to myself; I might one day be looking at the remnants of the day or week, and see signs of her everywhere, but she wouldn’t be here. My heart would sink a little just thinking about the possibility. Over the time we had her she had become part of our identity. The thought of walking by her empty room and seeing her empty crib made the instability of foster care unbearable sometimes.
As her case progressed over the two years, we were fairly certain that we would be able to adopt her. But as foster parents we know that it’s not final until it’s final. At times, there was talk of another family member who may be able to take her (even though they had never called to meet her) and it was terrifying to sit there and wonder, would tomorrow be the day someone called to tell us her case wouldn’t be going towards adoption?
I remember having a conversation with my mother-in-law about how nothing is final until it’s final. She responded with the very concern and fear that I lived with daily. She responded, “how scary, I just remember looking at my boys and knowing they were mine, and being so happy that they were mine forever.” She had voiced my fear out loud. I also feared that she wouldn’t be ours forever, but I was able to place on the mask when talking to family members. I had to. It was my job to be strong and remind them that we were her foster parents, our job was reunification first. But even I would forget sometimes, and then there would be a visit with biological family or a social worker would call, and reality would remind me once more that she may not be ours forever.
Tonight, one year later, I sit here with Better the robotic dog, dishes piled high in the sink, and laundry to be done. Tonight, I choose to write down my thoughts instead of clean. Tonight, I am thankful for the remnants of a busy day with my daughter. But even more so, I am thankful for the remnants that I know will always be there because today, one year later, she is forever ours.
If you want updates on this blog or are interested in the foster parent resources like the foster parent planner, the foster child binder, or the foster parent binder I have available please follow this link to register and gain access to the resource library.
More recently, I published a post on recommended foster parenting reads, and thought it’d be really cool to start up a closed Facebook group where we would read a common book and share ideas and strategies that enlightened us. Please reach out to let me know if you’d be interested by commenting on the post or shooting me an e-mail.