Although the good news is that we’ve had a month to prepare saying goodbye to her since learning of the newest developments in her case and Tia has invited us to still remain a part of Rose’s life (still working out the logistics of that situation- it’s complicated and I won’t be going into details) it’s still hard.
I also think it’s safe to say that I’ve pretty much bounced back and forth between all of the stages of grief this past month.
My first reaction at hearing the news that Rose would be leaving us was heartbreak- and shock. I’ve since vacillated between depression and anger- sometimes several times in the same day.
We’ve certainly had plenty of bargaining. And a bit of denial, too. When Rose toddles up to me and calls me “mom” with a smile on her face or comes up behind me and hugs the back of my leg while I’m doing the dishes I think: “This can’t be happening. Please tell me I’m just going to wake up from a dream.”
I think the hardest part for me personally has been having to watch Rose’s reaction the first couple of weeks of transitional visits when I would hand her over to Tia and Rose would immediately start squirming, and arching her back and crying and look at me with her pleading, deep brown eyes as if to say, “Why are you leaving me?” “Where are you going?” And I can’t logically explain to a toddler “I’m not leaving you- I have no choice.”
We’ve resigned ourselves to acceptance because, “There’s nothing we can do about it- we’re just the foster parents.” After all, we went into foster care knowing beforehand that it’s not about us, and that it wouldn’t be easy- it’s about the children, right?
But that’s precisely what’s so frustrating about this whole situation: if what were in Rose’s best interest were truly being taken into account why not just let her remain in the loving home she’s been in for a almost a year of her life with the family she’s safe with and securely attached to rather than having to be moved and disrupting her security? Such train of thought always leads me back to anger again.
Rose won’t be with us anymore, but the important thing is that she’ll be in a safe home. Not all children have that blessing.