We have the sweetest little girl living with us. She came to us from the hospital after birth, a teeny tiny little peanut. She is now a roly poly toddler. We lovingly call her Squish because when she smiles, her whole faces smiles until it is one big squished up cheeky wrinkle. It is the best.
Squish is 15 months now and has the sweetest personality! She waves bye bye to everyone she passes, blows kisses, and has the BEST belly laugh.
Squish and our 20 month old are best buds. When they wake up, they spend at least 2 solid minutes waving at and hugging each other, as if they haven’t been sleeping in the same room!
We were asked if we would be willing to adopt her, and of course we said yes! We can’t imagine our life without her in it. She brings so much light and joy into our family, and we adore her! We settled in and prepared for the potentially long adoption process to begin.
A few months later, the worker came for her monthly visit and jumped right into talking about her imminent transition. Next week? What? Tears welled up in my eyes. I knew some family members had come forward and stated that they were interested in placement, but I was caught off guard that, without warning, we were talking about having visits start so soon.
We are a foster family because we believe in reunification. We believe that familial ties are so very important. But we are heartbroken to think that our sweet Squish may disappear from our lives soon.
The timeline for her move changed, and we are now sitting in a terrible limbo. Most days, I stay in the present, loving Squish and our other girls and going through our lives. And then it hits that she may leave, and I weep. I cry for the 20 month old who won’t understand, and for our two older girls who will understand too much. I am reminded that this is why I try not to think too far ahead, because all of the times I imagined the Littles in the same grade in school and growing up together will never happen.
But I step back and remember that there is a greater plan. We have been here before, and if other sweet babies hadn’t left, then we never would have known Squish. We believe this will open a place for us to love and nurture another child. All that we can do is believe that this is what is best for her and that our hearts will all heal with time.
Two weeks after writing this, I received a phone call from the worker. Squish is staying put. The legal team determined that our home would be her permanent placement! We are thrilled that we will get to watch her grow, but I still grieve the fact that she will not be with her first family. We will do our best to keep those ties close and healthy.
But this is the roller coaster of foster care. Children may come and go in the span of a phone call. Plans and goals can change on a dime. This journey is full of heartache and fear, uncertainty and change, but our hearts are always growing in love.