We tried to fill those last days with all the love we felt. We invited friends and family over for a farewell party. And then early in the morning, hours before the sun was due to shine, we loaded suitcases filled with his books and clothes and toys into the car and headed to the airport.
It seemed like a betrayal. As much as we knew it was what was supposed to happen and all of that, in the end we were leaving our baby with someone he barely knew. He trusted us, completely. And we left him. It scared us to think of how much that hurt him.
On the last night we didn't have a plan for how we'd say goodbye. We wanted to respect his family. The baby's grandmother said she'd give him a bath and put him to bed. And the baby just wanted to be with us. His screams still echo in my head and tear at my heart. It was just too much, too traumatic.
I suggested that maybe it would be better if I just put him to bed, the last time. And then, instead of a traumatic goodbye, he would just wake up and we'd not be there. I honestly don't know what was the best thing. I just wanted to take care of him that last time, hold him and sing to him and whisper love. It took a while for him to settle down in this strange new place but he finally drifted to sleep. I kissed his head one last time and whispered goodbye.
That night, in between dreams of him, we wept. And in the morning, early, we left the hotel to catch the plane back.
Sadness weighted us and we worried that if we weren't careful, we could start crying and never, ever stop. On the plane, I put on the headphones and listened to music. And a song I'd heard so many times had new meaning...
I was waiting for so long
For a miracle to come
Everyone told me to be strong
Hold on and don't shed a tear
Through the darkness and good times
I knew I'd make it through
And the world thought I'd had it all
But I was waiting for you
And with the next song came a memory. I'd heard it the first day as I held him and fed him a bottle. We were both so scared, the baby and me, and the song seemed to fit that day. And now, hearing it again, I knew the answer...
Don't know much about your life.
Don't know much about your world, but
Don't want to be alone tonight,
On this planet they call earth.
You don't know about my past, and
I don't have a future figured out.
And maybe this is going too fast.
And maybe it's not meant to last,
But what do you say to taking chances
And what I knew then that I didn't know that first day was that taking that chance, loving this baby, was what was meant for me. It was the easiest and most natural thing in the world. And on that day when I needed comfort, it was found there, in that thought discovered through those two sentimental pop songs.
I didn't know how I'd make it through all the weeks and months to follow but I could find what it took to make it through that given moment. And then the next.
At first every breath carried the thought "I miss him" with it. And then, over time, some breaths carried instead "I love him". And then "It's going to be okay".
On Tuesday, just two days from now, at 1 in the afternoon, we'll knock on his door. We'll listen for his running feet and wait, hearts full of love. And when we see him, we'll hug him and kiss him and tell him that we love him.
And for that week, we'll spend as much time with him as we can. We'll celebrate his birthday and blow out the two candles with him. We'll look for ways that he's grown and ask him if he remembers 'Munk and 'Mander and 'Hopper, and the countless other things from our beautiful life. We'll laugh and play and sing and read. Then we'll give him a hug and a kiss and tell him we love him and catch the plane back to our lives back here.
Ten years ago, five years ago, if you asked me to pen my life, I'd written it a little differently. It would have read more like a typical mother's story. It's what I've wanted all my life. I yearned for it. And yet, I like this story better. God gifted us with the hearts of a mother and a father, he showed us what we wanted to feel all our lives. You might argue "But look, He took him away from you!" But that's the thing about love, isn't it? Love doesn't go away and it's not a factor of time. That little baby is in our hearts forever and we will always love him. Always.
Our hearts are all connected, every one of us. With this new year dawning before us, we ask the Lord to continue to light the way, to show us His will, and help us to surrender our life to it.
Beautiful post, absolutely beautiful. Your story (all chapter) have brought me much comfort, as my husband and I went through a similiar experience.
We believe that God brought our sweet peas into our lives so we could experience the love of a child. So many people say, "The girls were lucky to have you" when really I feel it was the other way around.
I am not sure which part of CA you are traveling to, however, here in Southern Californa the high today will be around 78 and it's a bit windy. Enjoy your visit to CA!
As I sit her crying after reading your chapters, all I can think is how lucky this little guy was to have you when he needed you so much.
That is a very touching story. I am so glad the baby's father wanted him enough to do the right thing. You are wonderful to give of yourself as you did.
Very touching story! I cried again when I read it...as I cried during your last portion. I hope you have a safe and happy trip next week!
What a lucky little boy!
I love these stories. Have a Wonderful visit!
Your story is so moving, Amy....please please please write a book about your journey with baby. People need to know that foster care and adoption are a saving grace for children - and the families who take them in and love them. People need to realize that children are a gift, no matter HOW they come into your life, and how long they are physically with you.
I'm crying... again! You are such an inspiration, Amy! There are stars in your crown, Sister!
God Bless you and Rich and Baby. Rachaelxo
Waterworks...again! :) I can't say it enough. SUCH a beautiful story!
Your strength in this situation continues to amaze me. God bless you all.
A truly heartwarming story about your special baby Amy, I am so happy for him that he had the chance to experience your love.
You're amazing. I read your blog all the time and am constantly touched by your stories. Thank you for sharing your life with us strangers.
Everything so Beautifully expressed, Amy. You have such a Wonderful perspective :)
Your stories about baby are heart wrenching yet inspiring. God Bless you and have a wonderful visit with your little loved one.
This is heartwrenching to read, Amy, I can't imagine living it.
Surely, somewhere out there, is a child that will come to you that you don't have to say goodbye to. I wish every adoption agency in the country could read your posts, and realize that you would be the BEST parents EVER to ever place a child with. Sadly, the system doesn't work like that.
You are such a strong woman, God Bless you and I hope you have a wonderful week with baby...
I truly believe that there is a special place in heaven for foster parents. Your story is so touching. Bless you and your husband for being angels in human form.
Wow. I'm completely blown away by your words and story. A beautiful story of love and faith. And courage. Thank you.
oh Amy, these chapters are all so beautiful...I particularly was moved by the line "love doesn't go away and it's not a factor of time." I am dealing with a loss in my life right now and you just put words to it that help me to keep moving forward. Thank you, Kristin
Just beautiful! This little boy is blessed to have you both in his life. God Bless You!
I just wanted to add my thanks for the sharing of your story, and to say that I think that it's beautiful that you and Rich are willing to surrender to the Lord's will, no matter what. May you both, and Baby, be blessed beyond belief!
I've read every chapter. Be still, my heart. Enjoy our visit...
You and Rich have such kind and loving hearts. I just know that you will have a little one in your home permanently one day soon. If there is any fairness in the world..still there is a little man out there who knows what love is because of the two of you. He has a wonderful base that hopefully he will build the rest of his life. You are so sweet and kind in your sharing of this love story.
good grief--please stop me making me cry! (obviously i don't mean it in a mean way :-) what an inspiration you are and what a witness you are to our world that our God is love.
Oh my, oh my. Write a book please. Tell us everything. "But that's the thing about love, isn't it?" - so beautifully, perfectly expressed.
I've been following along with each chapter and I'm so moved by it all. Baby is one lucky little boy. I'm sure he'll be a part of your lives forever. Bless you and your husband.
I pray you have a wonderful and safe journey! I'm so happy for all of you! This little child knows so much love because of you and your husband. God Bless you Both!! Thank you for sharing your story. I so enjoy your site!
Lovely, touching post. I am so in awe of your strength, your perspective, your faith and your love. I pray you will all be blessed and make more wonderful memories during your visit.
Have a safe trip and give baby hugs and kisses from Aunt Jessica and Uncle John. Love ya.
Such a heartfelt story. Thank you for sharing.
Your story brings tears to my eyes. I say it again, bless you and Rich for your unselfish love and commitment to Baby. I am in awe of you. Have a wonderful time with Baby.
Amy, Your words are so lovingly crafted on the "page", as a reader I am drawn and captivated by your story and your love for Baby. Hope you have a wonderful trip and make many happy new memories. Thank you for sharing your story with all of us.
*sigh* I don't know what to say, but if you were a real life friend I'd give you the biggest hug. You and Rich are so strong and loving and giving of yourselves. It's something else, really. May you be richly blessed as you journey to visit your little man.
Thank you for sharing this. Sometimes we don't understand God's plan until we get to the other side and look back. And then it's like "Oh. He knew all along."
Your story and hearts are so amazing. As I sit here sobbing over the love that you have for your little man I can appreciate people like you guys knowing that you just love kids and want kids to be loved that need it. It is so awesome to see how The Lord used that song to speak to your heart during such a painful time. He is our ultimate comforter.
have a wonderful trip!!
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" What a wonderful testimony of the love of Christ toward this family. Your story is an inspiration.
May you be blessed tenfold.
I followed a link on someone's blog to your site. I've read a few of your posts tonight and then read this with tears. Thank you for sharing your heart. I believe, with all my heart, that God will bless you for loving each child that might come through your home, as if they were your own. Loving, knowing that they may leave, is truly, truly a beautiful thing. These children so need that. Thank you for being willing to be a foster parent!
This is such a beautiful story, and you and your husband are beautiful kind hearted people. It moved me to tears, crazy full on tears that I had to explain to my OH who thought I had lost the plot. Words cannot convey the feeling in my heart right now, it is glowing in the knowledge that there are amazing people like you in the world <3
What a beautiful, inspirational post...truly, everything on earth is but a loan and we are only successful when we learn to treasure the important things. Amen to your prayers--may your life continue to be filled with light. Thank you for sharing your heart.
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