Thursday, May 10, 2012

Dear Rose

Dear Rose,

Just yesterday I noticed a small object on the coffee table and I automatically thought  I need to move that.  The baby's gonna put it in her mouth!  Then I remembered that you were gone.  Silly Me. 

You've been gone for one week now and I miss you.  We all miss you. 

The last morning you were with us I walked into your nursery and to my surprise you were sitting up in your crib, as content as could be, happilly babbling away.   You looked up at me with a smile and when I changed your diaper I noticed {FINALLY!} a little tooth was making its way through the bottom of your gums.  You've been teething for months now and sticking anything and everything into your mouth and chewing away like a little puppy dog.  

You're a different baby than the frail little creature the caseworker brought to our home seven months ago.  You were just eight pounds then and last month at your 9 month check-up you weighed over 16 pounds!    Although you're still technically in the 10th percentile for weight you have been growing at a steady pace.  You have transitioned from learning to scoot like an inchworm to rolling around on the floor to crawling ALL OVER THE PLACE.  You are also pulling yourself up to furniture now, too.

You have a great sense of rhythm and much to our amusement, we would all bust out laughing when someone would start playing music and you would immediately bounce and rock back and forth to the beat.

You have learned to clap your hands and proudly say "Yay!" afterwards.  You also attempt to wave to people (although most of the time your chubby little hand and fingers are directed towards yourself when you do).  You babble and sing and even say a few words- including "mama", "dada", and "Hi", which you say quite enthusiastically whenever you greet someone.   You are a little charmer and a beautiful baby but I think you've figured that out by the way everyone looks at you and dotes on you when they see you.

Do you know who lights up the most when they see you?  Your parents.  Rose, I hope you know that your parents love you- they absolutely adore you- and they have both worked so hard to get you back into their care. 

Thank you for letting me be your substitute mommy for a short time (not that you had a choice in the matter- although I have felt at times like we have a connection from sometime or somewhere before).  You have taught me to be more patient-especially with all of your colic and spit-up.  Your reflux has greatly improved and you're eating solids like a big girl now.

You have taught me to sacrifice- as all mothers and caregivers learn- each time I would get up in the middle of the night to make you a bottle or comfort you when you were teething or sick.   And, of course, Murphy's Law for Sleep-Deprived Mothers states that "Even though a baby still isn't sleeping through the night they will regularly wake up at the crack of dawn!"

You have taught me to replace the urge to judge when I would hold your little body in my arms the first couple of weeks you were with us and you would twitch and tremble at night through no fault of your own.  The anger and blame I felt towards others about your circumstances were mercifully overshadowed by compassion.

You have reminded me that once you spend so much time with someone you forget that their skin is a different shade than yours until someone else brings it up and then you think, "Oh, yeah . . . I forgot."
Thank you for giving my little girl another chance to know what it's like to be a big sister and to learn to share her toys and time and attention with a sibling.  I miss hearing you two laugh together as you play.  I miss when I would hold you on my lap and you would grab her face with your outstretched arms and lean in and give her a slobbery open-mouthed kiss on her cheek.  She would laugh hysterically and you would smile and giggle and we'd repeat it over and over again.  Sometimes you would grab her hair and not let go and the harder she would squeal the bigger you would smile.  I would tell her that babies just like to explore but the mischievous look in your eyes makes me think that you knew what you were doing.   You would have that same look in your eyes when I would wear my glasses and you would try to grab for them.  I would chastise you in a mock tone and you would laugh.

Thank you for smiling as I handed you to the caseworker at the DCFS Building to drop you off for the last time. It made our parting easier and I have your smile and the look on your face permanently etched in my mind. Your parents had not yet arrived from the Hearing but they texted me letting me know what I allready knew- "Our baby is coming home today!"

Rose, you have taught me to cherish the sacred gift of motherhood and to never take family for granted.

Thank you for being part of our life and our home- if only temporarilly.  We are eager to see you again, but right now it's your parents' turn to take care of you and for your family to be together again.


(Your "other" mother)


Mommy on a Mission said...

This is beautifully written and clearly from your heart. Soft landings to Rose and to you.

Mary said...

What a huge impact you've had on this little girl's life (and her on yours--just as huge). What a gift you have been to each other while her parents could get ready to be parents.

Jeff and Kathryn said...

Hi, I came across your blog and want you to know that I think caring for these babies is the most courageous, strongest, most selfless act of love I can imagine. You are amazing!!!

Becky said...

What a gift your time with Rose has been. To her, to you, to her family, and to us (thanks to you sharing it). Hugs to you on this (almost) Mothers Day.