My heart just about melted as our CPS case worker said those words on her visit this week.
"He's home." "Do you realize that? He is home."
It is not lost on me. We entered this foster care arena with the thought that eventually we would adopt. It was not the end all be all of why we were doing it... but in time as I fell in love with child after child I realized that I really did want the relationship to last forever. I still mourn the loss of the little ones that have left us. Especially Little Miss and Little Dude. Their pictures still hang in our home. As if taking them down would be admitting that they are gone. Sigh... but not this one.
This one is a keeper. And not just because he is the first one to become available. But because he is our son. We love him. Can't imagine our lives without him.
This week his father's rights and those of any John Doe's - since the paternity could never be established - were terminated. I mourn for the loss of the relationship he could have had with his son. Or rather that our Tank could have had with him. Not really the every day parenting stuff - but he will never know who he is. Because we don't. We have a name and one picture. A few memories from birth mom - not all of them positive. I feel sad for the boy who will grow up with wonder.
We are accepting of open adoption. In Tank's case it will end up to be more semi-open due to safety issues. With his birth mother we are doing our part to continue and involve her in his life. We even have a birthday visit set up for later this month. We want him to grow up knowing how much we love him. We also want him to grow up knowing who he is, where he came from -- so that he doesn't have those questions and wonders what would have been. Foster care adoption isn't as pretty as domestic adoption - at least from my perspective. I can't tell him that his birth mother loved him so much but knew that she couldn't give him everything so chose us as his family. That isn't how it all happened. Sure, sure we'll rose color it as much as possible while he is young. As he grows up he'll become more aware of why CPS is involved in a family's life. Why a child is taken. And ultimately why they don't go home. I can't hide that from him. What I can do is show him everything good that is in his past and let him see for himself.
We are in love with this child.
Adoption is still a ways off since paperwork seems to take forever. We are hopeful that it will happen before the twins arrive. And if not -- just two more members of the family at the adoption ceremony.