Our family and Baby Brother's foster family met, today, at the Cider Mill to get to know each other. The boys were in their baby brother's face for a few minutes, but then became, quickly, distracted by all the family fun activities.
This girl, however, was very interested in the new baby she's only heard me talk about.
She even shared her donut with him when I wasn't looking and made a sugary mess over all three of us. It filled my heart to see her nurture in ways I've never experienced before.
There sure was a lot of cuteness, but it was still a strange day.
The foster family is wonderful in every way. The awkwardness came from the fact that the son who is so, clearly, embedded into their lives and family is about to be transferred to ours. It doesn't feel right and it, certainly, isn't natural.
I held him for a few minutes, but mostly watched Baby Brother interact with his mother. She fed him his bottle and nestled his cheek, sharing words too soft for me to hear. I felt like such an intruder; a thief of sorts.
I felt nothing for him beyond normal "your baby is so cute - " excitement.
I am surprised that this phenomenon still surprises me, frankly. This was my fifth first meeting...and they've all gone the same way. I think my expectation was higher, this time, because of the difficulty of the decision to say "yes".
But...in the end, the familiarity of this scenario wins. I was introduced to a son that I will, one day, love as my own, but today, that sort of love privileges another woman's heart.
And the sadness in her eyes is too much to bear.
We return to court on Friday for mom's termination trial.
I don't know if mom received my letter, but I am hoping to be able to communicate through her lawyer, who I've had the opportunity to get to know over the last 18 months.
Two women are feeling tremendous loss, this week. Please remember them.