Today, we visited our first foster son (Lil Guy) who we returned back to his biological mother. It seems being able to visit your former foster child is not typical (for many reasons, I’m sure). We developed a good relationship with his parents and they invited us to stay in touch with them and visit. So we finally did today. It’s hard to believe it has only been three weeks since he left us because it feels like months. Honestly, we weren’t sure what to expect – what it would be like or how we would feel.
When we first walked into the room, a family member was holding Lil Guy. We approached him and he just looked at us observantly for a couple of seconds but he made no sound, expression or movement. I asked him, “Do you remember us?” Then a very big smile beamed across his face. He reached out with both of his chubby arms and leaned towards me for me to hold him, while his mother said in the background, “Of course he does.” Next he saw a familiar stuffed animal he used to play with in his room. He smiled at it, grabbed for it and played with it like he used to. We played with him on the floor for a while. He kept crawling towards us, reached for us and climbed on us. I played a silly game with him that used to always make him laugh very hard; it still made him laugh. He saw our second foster son as well who was his little brother for about three weeks when we had both of them. He immediately reached for our second foster son, plucked the pacifier out of his mouth and tried to stick it in his own mouth. He repeated that four times! It cracked us up. It was so wonderful to see him again. He grew a lot in the last three weeks, and he has a head full of hair now. He is doing well and the mother is taking good care of him. She is making the best out of what she has and seems to be doing it wholeheartedly. His living place is a communal environment with lots of people around. It was clean and well managed. We’ve heard that cases like Lil Guy’s don’t often end up as success cases. We’re glad to see God’s blessing upon him and his mother to make him the exception. My wife and I were encouraged to see how well he was doing and told him once again that we love him and are proud of him.
Of course, leaving him was difficult again. After giving a round of hugs, the mother invited us to come back, even to visit regularly. As we were saying bye to Lil Guy, he had that look on his face again like he didn’t like what was happening. We don’t know if we will or how much we will continue to visit him. We’re just not sure yet. All of this is new territory for us, so I think we’re taking it a step at a time for right now. We want to do what’s best for the child and we want to be sensitive our own spirits. But the hour we spent with him seemed to lift his spirit, was affirming to the mother and brought a lot of joy to us. Plus, he was very happy to have his old toy again!