I venture to guess that I will never forget today. It amazes me how much little children can feel and understand even when they can't comprehend spoken attempts to explain what is happening. Mary and Paul
Mary woke up early, crying and clingy. Then Paul woke up eager for his next visit to be under way, not understanding he would be leaving for good. Lastly, Emily, who understands far more then should be allowed for a child of only 3 years, came downstairs. Despite my best efforts to keep things light and fun, packing the children's belonging up made them all emotional. Paul and Emily made each other cards, and I finished up a photo book depicting the kids' time with us. Finally, the time came. We loaded everyone into our car to make the all too short drive to Paul and Mary's new home.
Emily sat in the back seat desperately trying to explain to me why the kids could not leave us. I fought back the tears as I unloaded their few bags of clothing and toys. Instinctively, Mary knew that things were changing forever. As soon as Mary realized where we were she began to let out a grief-filled cry that still echoes in my ears. I tried my best to hold back my tears, to comfort her, and to say goodbye. As she held on to me my heart broke as I looked into her precious eyes. I had hoped and tried to minimize her trauma over the last several weeks, but it was all to no avail. All she understood was that she was losing the only mommy she had ever known, and her little heart was breaking. I wanted to stop her grief and hold fast her pain to spare her from all of this, and yet all I could do was hold her close and helplessly whisper my love to her. I set her down and tried to distract her so that I could slip away. She wailed as she teetered quickly after me, arms held high begging. My heart shattered. I could not keep her from grieving, and that made my grief even worse. I again showed her daddy how to hold her and feed her, gave Paul another kiss and hug and walked out of their lives.
One day, probably soon, the phone will ring and there will be a need for yet another child to have a safe and loving home. We will say yes, and a new journey will begin.
Was it all the agony we now feel? Is loving in such a deep way worth all the pain?
Absolutely! Love should cost us everything.
I am different because of Mary and Paul, as are all who got to know them. They are different too. That will never lessen the pain, but it does increase our joy in the truth.