We had the absolute perfect baby for two months. I mean, seriously. When they called about him, they said he was 8 weeks old. I hesitated because J. O. has one request....that we don't take newborns. In his defense, baby B about did us all in. But, in true Tamra fashion, I said sure and figured I would ask for forgiveness later. After all, J. O. is pretty laid back.
This baby came to us and the first night he slept through the night. I was shocked. J. O was shocked. We then found out his birthday was wrong and he was actually 3 months old so it made a little more sense. This baby reminded me of Trey from the word go. He was content, he was so happy, everyone fell in love with him and there were several times that I thought...'there is no way I am letting this one leave.' J. O. and I actually discussed that this would be one of our harder goodbyes. The whole family loved him and he just 'fit'.
Well, of course the time came to say goodbye and we were happy to see him head home in time to spend Thanksgiving with his family, but we found ourselves waking up wondering how he slept, how he ate, etc. It was then, I was reminded that people truly don't do this because this is the part they want to avoid. The goodbye. The hard part at the end. I will admit, a part of me didn't want to see this baby leave because I knew there would be NO WAY our next placement would be as easy. There. I said it.
And I was right. DHS called me Tuesday and asked if we could do respite through Sunday night. It was for two boys....ages 4 and 6 years old. They walked in at 8:30 a.m. and stole our hearts from the word go. The little one was calling me mama by 9:00 and the older one by lunch. They yelled for mama and daddy constantly and the older one told us heartbreaking stories of how his daddy was in jail and he will be going home to his 'real' momma soon. We dealt with things like middle fingers, curse words and Addison and the 6 YO falling in love, but I would do it all again tomorrow. I have never slept better in my entire life. I hit the pillow at night and crashed. I was tackled out of affection, almost fell down the stairs, couldn't figure out how to make a strong and physical 6 year old get in the car when it was time to leave and so forth. But, I miss those boys like crazy! They have stories and laughter that babies just can't tell when they are with us. They have lived a life that my kids can't imagine. When Addison asked me why the older one was saying hateful things, I had a chance to talk to her about how life probably seemed so unfair to this boy. And it is! He doesn't deserve any of this. He deserves a family, stability, electronics to play on (we gave him full rights to Trey's and he was in Heaven!), a home, extended family and so forth. Both of those boys do.
I am not going to lie. Last week was exhausting!! But, it's hard to explain to people who aren't doing this, that I would do it all again in a heartbeat. Did I enjoy my day today with only Addison at home? YES!! Am I relishing in the quiet evening at home tonight? OF COURSE!! But, if DHS called right now, I would say yes again.
Our pastor said something Sunday that I loved. He was talking about our upcoming outreach we have next week at church and asking for more volunteers. He was talking about how his own 7 year old will be at church for all of the Tree performances and it will likely be exhausting. His point was that a mission trip is to teach children that life is not all about themselves. Our kids shared games, electronics, bath toys, time, lots of attention, and much more while these boys were here last week. There were nights they were over it, but they learned that life is not about them. Life is about so much more.
Give me the hard and the hard goodbyes over the easy any day. I mean it! My memories of sweet baby D and these boys are worth so much more than any discomfort I may feel. Sometimes, I think we adults also forget that we aren't here for our ease and comfort. It's not always easy, but it's always worth it.