Other foster parents told me that when a foster child moved, it could feel like the death of a child. I don't know what a death of a child feels like, but I grieved quietly and without tears when Pterodactyl left. I didn't always feel sad about her goodbye. I figured it was because I always knew she would likely leave us.
But it settled in more deeply than I knew. I cried months later. I watched her birthday creep up. I watched the anniversary of when she came to us creep up. Now I'm starting to do the same activities as last summer, but without Pterodactyl. That's the part that is like grieving a death: going through the first time that you're experiencing things you did last year without that person. And it didn't kick in until we got to one year after she came to us. Baseball practices with a baby in the wrap. Splash pads while giving a baby a bottle. Having another baby placed with us now is an even stronger reminder that she's not here, because I'm doing baby things, but with another baby. It's all a bit surreal.
Tonight at a moms' group at church, a mom brought her sweet 2-week-old baby girl with her. I had a baby girl around that age this time last year. But it wasn't just that, it was that she was wearing one of the onesies I had for Pterodactyl, one of my favorites. Striped in pink, red, and aqua, bright and cheery.
I couldn't stop looking at that sweet baby girl, and when I tried to throw in a quick comment about how I missed Pterodactyl lately, I lost it in tears. These women are wonderful and it was a great place to have a good cry.
And you know what meant the world to me? A friend who said how she remembered me carrying her around this time last year in a wrap, seeing her for the first time at church. It means the world to me when others remember her. Because otherwise, it really does feel like she's gone from this earth, even if that's not true.
I asked for prayer that either I would be able to see her, or that I would be able to accept not seeing her.
Also, tonight we watched this poem Esther Generation, and this is the part that gripped me:
And let's redefine comfort zone because wherever He takes you
You are with the comforter
Wherever He calls you
You are always in His comfort zone
It brought me back to our decision to foster, that we felt called to leave our comfort zones and complacent lives. But this turns that idea on its head and shows me what it's really about. It's not about leaving my comfort zone to love and care for these kids and help bring
families back together. It's about depending on the Comforter as I do
so, and knowing He is with me wherever He takes me. He is with me in
this strange and lonely grief. Our comfort zones as we imagine them are illusions built by
the world. He is our true comfort.