As foster parents we get good at goodbyes.
We mourn the loss of our children. We resign ourselves to remembering and hoping and praying for them.
We hope to see them again and we thrill when we do so under positive circumstances.
Unfortunately our latest goodbye is laden with great grief.
Our most recent baby passed away unexpectedly and at the fault of no one.
SIDS is a horrifying mystery.
I don’t know anything about the family, yet. My greatest hope is for an opportunity to hug his mother. To tell her how very much her child was loved and by so many people. To tell her that while I can never fully understand her grief – I certainly understand better than most what she’s lost. For a time, he was mine, too.
I wore his tiny form to my body for weeks. For weeks Leo and I spent night after night holding him as he screamed, unsettled. Tonight and we browsed through our pictures of time with him, we laughed at the fact that we have proof he didn’t cry 24 hours/day, even if it felt that way.
We imagined we’d have him longer than we did. No one but the judge thought his return was a good idea. I’m fighting the urge to blame the judge. I’m fighting the urge to blame his mother. His beginning was unfortunate, and so was his end. His future didn’t have much hope by the world’s standards.
Then I remember that love covers a magnitude of sins. And I did love that child. I have love for his mother, too. With that, my compassion for her, my renewed hope for her, is deeply rooted.