Recently Crocodile reached the point that he has been in our home longer than any other foster child. And still the strangest part is that we don't have a "next step" looming ahead, not for awhile. It's unsettling, and we learn to live in feeling unsettled.
For today, I don't care. I heard him shout with joy, not once, but dozens of times today. Which is pretty normal for him. I observed as he got out Rhinoceros's doll just to give it to him. I saw him zoom down a hill on a ride-on toy, giving me a glance to connect that I was still there. I enjoyed who he is with others around me, his bright blazing light of energy, and we couldn't contain our laughter at Crocodile and his zeal. And there's the more normal parental stuff: we cleaned up his messes, calmed him down, helped him sleep, not fancy and often trying of our patience, but also tender and a part of love through actions that makes us better people. He doesn't belong to us, yet he's ours in the way we beam and glow when we see how he makes others smile.
Wherever he goes, I pray his bright light, his unstoppable sunshine grin, will go with him and never dim.