Saying goodbye

I woke up the day after Christmas feeling as if a weight had settled over my heart. It was like my body remembered what my mind was trying to forget—that today was the day Cece was leaving us.

If you know anything about foster care, then you know the status is almost always: “It’s complicated.” Given several of the “It’s complicated” factors with Cece’s case, it came to our attention that the best option for her long-term might be to live with another foster family. This particular family has two of Cece’s siblings and knows her birth parents really well. They told us they would love to foster Cece, and though Josh and I were initially reluctant, it really did seem like this would be in her best interests. Cue my heart shattering into a million pieces.

Once a transfer date had been set, the new foster mom and I talked on the phone. We covered all the basics—Cece’s schedule, formula, clothing size. “Anything else I need to know?” She asked at the end of the conversation.

Yes, I wanted to tell her. Cece is the sweetest baby you will ever meet. Her smile is guaranteed to melt you into a puddle. When she looks up at me, it feels like her big blue eyes are staring straight into my soul. My boys are so in love with her and I’m worried about how they’ll handle her leaving. She healed my heart in so many ways and I don’t know how to say goodbye.

“No,” I said instead. “I think we covered everything.”

Maybe one day I’ll have more words to share about the two months we spent with Cece, and about the privilege of being her first family. Maybe one day I’ll have the emotional capacity to write about how it felt to simply hand her over to someone I had never met before, trusting it was for the best. But today is not that day. Today I’m just reminding myself that God loves Cece more than we ever could, and that just because she isn’t in my care anymore doesn’t mean she’s not in His. 

(For the record, everything I wrote in this post still stands.)

Recently I asked CJ and Kyeler how they felt about saying goodbye to Cece. “Sad!” Kyeler said right away. “And angry!” I nodded. “Me, too,” I told him, tears pooling in my eyes. 

CJ, who is too much like me for his own good, immediately plastered a giant fake smile on his face and announced, “I’m happy!” He sat down on my lap, his smile wavering.

“Okay,” I told him. “But you can feel sad, too, if you want.” He thought for a minute, and then his little face crumpled. “I’m sad,” he mumbled into my shirt.

“Me too, buddy,” I said, patting his back. “Me too.”

4 responses to “Saying goodbye”

  1. I’m so sorry… And I say that in a “I’m happy for Cece and proud of you as a family for doing what you knew what was best for her.” But I’m so sorry for your hearts. That is just SO hard! Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

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