I fell in love this morning; completely, totally, head-over-heels in love. This isn’t just a passing infatuation or a school-girl crush, but the real thing. And it is not with a male, but a female, which totally goes against the grain for me. Just totally. But this girl, oh. If you could SEE her, you would know exactly what I am talking about, and the line would be forming to become the object of her affections.
The problem? She is 18 months old. Jacquie (daycare provider/close friend extraordinaire) has a new family, though it isn’t a family in the “traditional” sense of the word. Mom is actually not mom, but a foster mom, so “her” children come and go fairly regularly. Right now she has a 5week old baby who is going to be adopted by a family member, and they are just waiting for said family member to be fingerprinted and have a background check so she isn’t going to be there long. And then there are two little girls, sisters, one black and one white, and it was the youngest one with whom I fell in love. She isn’t especially pretty, but very compelling. And I was talking to her, telling her how pretty she is and just talking like you do to little ones, and she ran up to me and lifted her arms toward me, asking to be picked up. Of course I did, and she just grabbed on and laid her little head on my shoulders as if she belonged to. I stood there and held her with Owen looking on in disgust, crying-because how can anyone give his up? How can anyone deny this little girl (and her sister, who is as cute as cute can be, but also much more standoffish; she has reason to be wary of adults, I am sure!) the love and caring she so deserves, and obviously craves?
I can’t pretend to know anything about their circumstances, or why they were taken from their mother and are now in foster care hoping to get adopted. But I have been around long enough to know that for parental rights to have been terminated, things had to have been pretty bad. They have been with this foster mom for about 6 months or so, which is GOOD ( I know this mom, and she is SO great!), but it just sucks that their little lives have already been in such turmoil.
God, I want her. Them. I know myself well enough to know that for a million and one reasons, it is neither possible nor practical, and that it is at this point in my life not even something I should be thinking about, wistfully or otherwise. I am also self-aware enough to know that I am a caretaker and I want to save everyone, and that my emotions were heightened this morning by the fact that school started and not one of my kids needed me to go in with them-they are outgrowing me, and of course that is bittersweet. So yeah, I am not stupid, I understand about transference and the desire to replace the children growing away with younger ones in order to feel loved and needed. I also know that I am struggling with the knowledge that Owen is, in fact, the last child I will ever have. So many different things combined this morning to contribute to this feeling!
It is strange, though, to be so drawn to a child, and equally strange to have one so drawn to me. I don’t as a rule enjoy other people’s children, and though I talk to them when I drop Owen off, it is NOT in my nature to want to pick them up. In fact, Owen has been going there for over a year and I can say with certainty that I have never picked up a single child there. So this little chickadee has something special, and I hope there is someone out there who sees her and her sister and falls in love just like I did. I hope there is someone out there who takes one look and decides to move heaven and earth to get these girls, to give the baby some love and to help that haunted, distrustful look to fade from the older one’s eyes. I hope….