Sweet Boy was staring back at me.
"Hi, buddy. Are you having a hard time falling asleep?"
"Can you tell me how you're feeling?"
"Can you tell me what hurts?"
"Ok...are you feeling scared?"
"Would you like to come rock with me in Little Sis's room?"
I picked him up and tried to cuddle him close. His back was rigid.
This is always the worst night. The night when I want to hug my babies tight, wash their fear, lather them in love, and kiss them silly. But I can't. I'm a stranger - one of many. I hate it.
We had a great visit on Friday. We spent about an hour with the foster mom, letting the boys get to know each other. They played as if they'd known one another from birth. Ben and I were struck at how easy it was being in public. Because we were an hour and a half from home, we had to spend our family time together at the mall.
I won't be able to use names or full faced photos for awhile, but I can share these few:
After a few minutes into our day, Ty asked, "Mom, can we keep them?" I spent my day watching Sweet Boy and assessing his emotions. He held his cards tight. It was hard to determine how he was feeling. It was clear to Ben and I that bonding with him would be more difficult than it was with LJ. He's older; more aware; and caught in a delicate balance of an unsure future.
Thankfully, Ty and LJ are the perfect distraction.
Little Sis, who I've affectionately been referring to as "little miss", is a complete baby doll. Interacting with her, you'd never know of her difficult beginning.
We never imagined that we would bring a baby home, again, (and boy is it a lot of work!) but I know that God has given her a special purpose in our family. Watching all of my boys with her, warms my heart in a way I've never experienced before.
Every time I turn around, I catch glimpses similar to this:
She is going to be raised by a village...
On our way home to drop the kids off, the boys, organically, started talking about doing a sleepover. They talked about where they'd sleep and what movie they'd watch. Sweet Boy was caught up in the excitement of it and I, quickly, got a chorus of whens, which made it easy to plan our next visitation time.
We picked Sweet Boy and Little Sis up, yesterday, afternoon, and had them through tonight.
I swelled at the fullness. God gave us this house for these moments...
As happy as I was to have our darlings, I was, equally, as happy to drop them back off. I am not disillusioned to how much work this is going to be. After two days with four littles, I am worn out! When we kissed and said our goodbyes, we reminded the boys that we would see each other, again, on Friday (move-in day). Ty looked at Sweet Boy and said, "That's when you come to live with us forever. Do you want to come over and never go home?"
I, nervously, looked back and saw a huge smile spread on Sweet Boy's face. "Yah!"
It's going to be a long journey. The part that hurts the most is that I can't assure Sweet Boy that we will, in fact, be his last home. That was the single most important piece of LJ's healing process.
I have spent the last several days pressing into the Father, asking him to touch the parts of Sweet Boy's heart that I can't.