But because it's the season of the 20-blog challenge, I figure maybe I ought to capture what's in my heart tonight.
Tracy's family showed up today. It's her grandmother and her aunt, and they seem like lovely people. They were so excited to see Tracy again since their last visit, and they're anxious to take her back home with them now that they are in a place where they can keep her. And we couldn't be happier that they want her and love her.
But it just is awful. If any of you have ever been foster parents, you know the terrible pain that comes from loving and investing in a child you know will leave you one day. And when they do, you don't always think it's the most ideal situation in the world for them. It's family and there's so much beauty and importance there, but it's also hard. There's a reason that child has been with you and not them for a season.
People often ask, "Well don't you get attached? Isn't it hard when they go home?" Of course. To both. It's terrible, and one of the worst kinds of pain I think to willingly love when you know at the end your heart gets shredded. Again. But the alternative is not attaching and not effectively loving. And that's not an option.
So we keep loving and opening up our hearts to kids for the season they need us. For Tracy, that's been a little over 3 years. 3 years of firsts, of beauty and frustration, of growing and changing, of becoming a little girl who we love so deeply. 3 years of wiggling her way deep down into our hearts.
Taytay is special. She's not like any other baby we have. I guess that could be said of all of them, actually, but she especially marches to the beat of her own, precious little drum. She's smart. She's independent. She's funny. She's wild. She's quiet. Until she's not. She's thoughtful. She's warm. She takes a long time to warm up. She takes a long time to decide how she feels about something or someone. She's stubborn. She loves to be singled out for doing something well. She's just special. And no words I could ever write could paint a proper picture of the girl she is.
I miss her and she's not even gone yet.
But for me, she pretty much is gone. Even though she will still be with us for a few days, it's important that we step to the back and let her grandmother and aunt take over the main care-giving as she starts attaching with them,. She needs to see us trusting them with her. She needs to bond with them in a place that feels safe to her. She needs to start looking to them for the things she would normally look to us for. She needs to start choosing them, preferring them, and pulling away from us a little bit. And she will. But it hurts, for all of us.
God loves Taytay, and I truly believe He shelters little children from the awareness of pain. I know He's knitting all their hearts together as we speak, this first night where grandmother and aunt and baby are sleeping together in Tracy's familiar place. Little by little their hearts are starting to connect, and He's responsible for it. I know He's sending angels to surround the village where she's going, to protect her and to comfort her and to make sure she knows she's loved. I know because I've asked Him to, like I ask for all of them, and I know it's His delight to love His children well.
I'm so glad I believe that about God. What a blessing it is to fully believe that God created this baby girl, He loves her perfectly, and He wants what is best for her. It doesn't make it hurt any less on these days when someone you love so much leaves you, but it does quiet me, that's for sure.