Sigh. We had a good run! Darling came to us on December 16. Throughout the holidays, life was a dream. All key players in her case were on vacation = no visits, no nada. It was like she simply came to live with us. Ahhhh, suh-weet.
This week the honeymoon ended. We had court and, more jarringly, a visitation with her family. Both events left me…feeling very small…and very vulnerable. I have “wanted my mommy” twice since her death…when Chuck died…and sitting all alone in court. Gulp.
So, the court thing was unnerving, just because it was new…but I came away feeling educated and somewhat equipped to handle what was ahead. Not so much with the visitation…it left me asking, “What the hell was I thinking?????”
I walked into an office…and there they were…Darling’s family. Gulp. Talk about feeling exposed and generally stupid…I fumbled about and introduced myself. They were soooo friendly. The grandmother burst into tears when I uncovered Darling’s face…and of course, I burst into tears at her bursting into tears. Damn the spiritual gift of mercy….damn, damn, damn. The grandmother introduced me to Darling’s mom…double gulp. I was able to get out the words I had been longing to share with this young, overwhelmed, confuses mama, “You did a good job with her. She came to me healthy and strong. Thank you for that.” She gave me a half-smile…whew…I was betting on an eye-roll.
So, in my confusion and nervousness…I just turned and left…then thought, Hmmm. Maybe I should let someone know I’m here. Maybe I should let someone know I have dropped off Darling…rather than just leaving her here in the waiting room with her family…the one she was removed from. Duuuuh. (Smoooooth mooooove, Janny.)
I rushed to HEB to buy a double Snickers bar…it almost helped the gnawing pain in my gut?…my heart?…eh, the gnawing pain of panic, “I’m going to lose her! I love her! And I’m going to lose her! I am an idiot!!!! Why did I do this? Why? Why? Why?”
Picking her up went a little more smoothly…I managed to gather her with no breaches in security. Ahem. I was able to see the departure through two-way glass…again with the sweetness of her grandparents…again with the twinge in my merciful heart (Damn, damn, damn….I am NOT going to feel sad for them. No, no, no. But if you know me, you know that’s a pretty worthless pep-talk. Blek.)
Again with the gnawing…only now it’s worse because I’m thinking, Maybe she should be with them.
And so, the honeymoon has ended. But not to worry. I remembered why we did this. We did this to be a loving, safe place for a child to land and heal when her life has fallen apart. That is it. That is all. And Darling is soooo worth it.