Goodbyes are never easy or fun and I am not very good at them. Tomorrow we will say goodbye to the little baby boy who has been a part of our family for the past 3 months. The little boy who I had the privilege of bringing home from the hospital and loving and taking care of him as he battled through some tough days in the beginning of his life. Goodbyes are a part of fostering and even though you never know if the goodbye is imminent or in the distant future it doesn’t make it any easier or less painful. But this goodbye is new kind for my husband and I to navigate. In our years of fostering we have never had to say goodbye to a baby while parenting our own children.
We knew when we said yes to this little guy that it was really going to an experience- how our kids would react to him? How would they handle saying goodbye when the time came? How would we juggle 4 kids 4 and under? We had concerns how our baby girl would do with not being the baby anymore; would she be jealous or would she love him? And thankfully since the moment we brought him home from the hospital she has loved on him and really took on the roll of a big sister so proudly which shocked my husband and I (and many of our close friends and family who know her). Our older two kids have absolutely loved having him especially my son who affectionately lets everyone know that he is the baby’s favourite since they are both boys.
As we have been transition baby boy over the past couple weeks to move to his grandparents there have been some over night visits which has left my older two very aware that their time with him was coming to an end and they have been very sad about this. We have been completely open and honest with them (at an age appropriate level) since day one letting them know that this little baby wasn’t our baby that he would be with us for awhile exactly how long we didn’t know but that we would just love on him for every minute he was with us and they have done that over and above what I thought they were capable of. When we got the court date (which is tomorrow) I let our “big” kids know and so we sat down with the calendar and showed them so they knew exactly what was going to take place. There were tears and questions. My oldest asked “But why does he have to go to his grandparents we are doing such a good job taking care of him.” My son cried and said “Mommy I don’t want him to go! I still love him.” I explained to both of them (with the biggest lump in my throat) that we are/did do a great job taking care of him but our job was to love on him while he needed us and until his grandparents where ready to be able to love and take care of him and they are ready to do that now and its ok to be sad and to not want him to go. It is ok to love him even when he is gone and that their will be another little baby that will need us to love on them.
Has this placement been hard? Heck yes!! Very hard – I have never taken care of a baby that has been this sick and has had such a rough start at life but boy has he been worth it. He is truly the sweetest little guy with a smile that just melts your heart! I have washed up the few things that we want to send with him tomorrow and we are spending our time soaking up his snuggles (we practically have to set a timer so that everyone gets equal time because he’s affectionately being fought over). As we say our finale goodbyes tomorrow and give him one last hug and kiss we will let him go and with him he will take a piece of each of our hearts. Baby Z you were loved, you are loved and you will always be loved by your Spinks Family! We will cherish all the pictures we have of him to remember our time with him and I know that he not only has left an impact on my life and heart but he has on my kids as well and I think they are all the better for it!