It's starting to sink in that Cricket is leaving soon, in a month or so (barring any licensing catastrophe for Gina, but it is looking pretty certain). We had a sibling visit today before Cricket's sister came to spend the night, and the foster mom of the baby brother is really going to have a hard time letting him go. Oh honey, I have been there with the babies. I know how that feels. But with Cricket, it will be a different transition, deep and difficult in its own way for our family.
I hadn't let it sink in too much that she's leaving because in our tough moments (and there are many of them), I felt guilty that I was clinging to an escape. I felt guilty for looking forward to an end. But I know this is only human of me, nothing a normal mother wouldn't feel like when they're up with a newborn: looking forward to an end.
I will miss her probably more than I realize. I will wish I would have soaked up more of her shining personality, her quick little mind and bold spirit. I tire of being needed so intensely, but I know my heart has been knit with hers, and it will feel wrong to be apart after months of "can you pick me up" "can you hold me like a baby" and "can you sit in my lap." Lately she says "I love Mommy and Daddy" to us often and spontaneously. I will miss how she loves us, even if I wish she would have never needed to live her and love us.
Cricket will go to live with her siblings and have those relationships restored. She will experience loss by losing our family, and I think it will be especially difficult losing me as the mother figure, but she will also heal in other ways.
But oh, Rhinoceros. I need to start praying more about this transition for him. He's had a living shadow for the past four months. There are times they are enemies, times he cried to me, "Why does Cricket bite me?" And there are times that they have their secret world, their wonderful shared joy of being crazy little people together. Sometimes they act like one child, and sometimes they absolutely must oppose one another. Either way, he is really going to feel it when she is suddenly gone. Who will run to the basement with him and talk about "the darkness," or put on a show with him that no one else understands? Who will shout that the music is too quiet when he says it's too loud? He just doesn't have that with Dinosaur. They have a different kind of sibling relationship. Cricket may have put him through much more than I imagined, but she has also brought out his social side, his imaginative side, and his assertive side. Gina brought up today that she'd be happy to keep in touch so that the foster families could still see the kids, and I really hope that can happen this time, for Rhinoceros especially.
He will have loved and lost, without having chosen to love. I still believe fostering has more benefits than losses for our biological kids, but man, it can be a tough gig for them.