I am not looking forward to breaking the news when Crocodile moves. It's still not official news, but we're getting closer.
I've imagined it for months and months of course, but the imagined responses get more dramatic as time goes on. Over a year and a half. Sometimes they're based on real responses I get when I convey that he will likely move.
"But... after all this time with you?"
"I just assumed you were adopting him!"
"He's like a part of your family now."
"He's spent almost half of his life with you."
"Wow, that's going to be tough on your kids."
"Aren't you going to fight to keep him?"
And twice now we have had people involved in a case assume that we would be a competing party when we won't be. It's so strange to clear that up. I feel like I have to say ten times how much I love him to counter how strange "we aren't trying to adopt him" sounds.
Don't get me wrong, we would be a competing party if we needed to be for him. I tried not to get too into imagining the scenarios, but I pictured one in which his sisters were matched with an adoptive family near us but they didn't find one for him, and we could be the family to keep them in touch. Pretty unlikely, but maybe it could happen. Or the search for an adoptive family went on really, really long and he was having more behavior challenges, and it was best not for him to move. We never said never for adopting him. But we said our answer was no until it was clear, absolutely clear, that it was not just a good option, but a necessary option.
Instead, we're fighting for him to be with his sisters. We're fighting for him to have a good and secure transition. We're fighting for him to be supported with services, good information, and good records.
Fighting for him means letting him go.