Tomorrow we will meet our daughter and hopefully discuss when she is coming home. It was all crazy how it came about so let me back track a little bit.
Friday I was getting ready to go get groceries and books when my phone caller ID flashed Ms. J's name. I answered it and she asked if I had a little time. I roll my eyes back further than I think I am capable of and put on a "happy" voice and say sure. J is very to the point. She said there has been a change in our case. I start to panic. I think, did mom and dad find Jesus and reform, is there a relative wanting Cary, or do you just hate us now? I was ready to throw up. Really.
J said that our placement plans have altered slightly. Gone is the need for 2-3 pre-placement visits. She is looking for a "cleaner and quicker" transition. The foster mother is having a hard time and it wouldn't be in the best interest of the child to drag it on. She went on with a few other things that are too private to place here. I agreed and then I shared another time and place that this happened.
Walk back with me a few years and months to a cold December day. I was so scared. I was meeting my son for the very first time. I hadn't slept the night before. I was so full of joy and bounce I was driving everyone bonkers. We got in Ms. T's car and pulled up to the L family's home. I couldn't stop smiling. The air was cold, clean and crisp. I wore my lucky sweater and my boss had given me time off so I could savor this day. We rang the bell and a woman opened it up. Mrs. L was everything you could want in a foster parent. Sweet, funny, easy, kind. She was smiling but it didn't meet her eyes. She was trying so hard to be happy, but it didn't take me long to figure out the facade. I tried to play along, but I was uncomfortable. We walked in and she offered us a drink. I declined. She showed us Marvin's stuff and proudly announced she'd weaned him from a bottle to a sippy cup. She showed us all his toys and stuff. She had gotten it from the goodwill and assured me that it was great stuff. By then I felt this undercurrent of tension. Ms. T felt it too and asked where her little man was.
At that point Mr L. came in with Marvin. I was over joyed. My son, my baby, my boo-boo. Mr. L took one look at me, burst into tears, and threw Marvin in my lap, and ran out of the room. A part of my soul was broken. To this day the whole thing makes me cry. It was at that point I realized that for my dream to live other people's dreams had to die. For my heart to be mended, other hearts had to break.
The meeting got better. Mr. L managed to pull it together and we all hugged and cried. Then we made a date to bring Marvin home and it all went south again. At that point Ms. T figured we'd better leave. We did go. I never forgot though.
So after I shared highlights of Marvin's meeting I ended with saying that even though I would like it all to go smoothly and everyone hold hand and sing Kumbyah I realize that this is not reality. Ms. J was silent for a moment and said that she wished it could be that way too but was glad that I had lived through this once and "got it".
I honestly wish that I hadn't gone through it. That it would have been a fully magical first meeting and everyone smiled and was happy. That there would have been rainbow, chirping birds, and your various Disney creatures dancing. But that is just not real life.
So tomorrow I go meet our daughter for the first time. I wish I could muster as much joy as I had for Marvin's meeting. Don't get me wrong, I am still very excited. I can't wait to hold Cary Lynn for the first time. To look into her eyes. To take pictures. To think of all the things that we will do together. Of all the pink that will invade our predominately male household.
But for the expansion of our family to happen a woman must choose to let the little girl that she has cared for since a few months old go. Another mother must have her parental rights terminated. In life there is a mix of joy and sorrow. The sorrow can weigh you down if you let it. I will let it shape me into a more compassionate person, but I will not let it weigh me down. I choose to live a life of joy, of hope, and of promise.