It was my husband’s birthday. The day started out well. In fact, as far as my mental health goes, I was in a really good place. We went to church, as we always do on Sundays, and I felt very… present for both the worship and the message. That doesn’t always happen. Sometimes I go to church fixated on something else – or more often, just really tired – and I have to fight hard to pay attention. It isn’t about the message – we have an amazing pastor, who I suppose could have done something else, but it would have been a waste of real talent.
Anyway, there I was on my husband’s birthday, still feeling wonderful after that unexpected apology from my sister in law, when I did a ‘normal’ thing and the world came crashing down around me. Again.
I came home from church, and went to play Facebook games on my computer – just to pass the time while I ate my lunch. (My husband had the service he does at the retirement homes on the first and third Sunday of the month, and was preoccupied preparing for that.)
I went intending to play Facebook games, but saw a post in my news feed on the way from my (foster) son. Even that wasn’t unusual, but I had spent a lot of the week before thinking of him and his sisters. When I saw the post (just a video of a dog and a raccoon in a pool) I clicked and went to his ‘page.’ There was nothing really to see, most of his posts are like that – but there was a small comment from someone linked to the children from the time I knew them. Just a tiny comment, “Love it.”
Knowing it was likely she was still involved in their lives, I clicked to go on her page. My heart was pounding. I am not supposed to be hearing anything about ‘my’ children (since they were foster kids, were moved from our home, and had no legal relationship with us) and I didn’t want to be blocked, or seen as doing something wrong…
It isn’t like I do this a lot. If I did, what I saw probably wouldn’t have come as such a shock to me – but it was a shock. I didn’t know.
On her page I found a picture of ‘my baby.’ Well… she hasn’t been ‘mine’ in pretty nearly exactly 8 years, but… (She’ll always be my baby.)
She didn’t look anything the same. If I saw her in town, there is no way I would recognize her – and even seeing her there I wasn’t sure that it was her, until…
There was another picture of her, with her name, on her birthday.
Further down, there were more pictures of her. It was these pictures that broke me, for she was on a trip – a ‘wish trip,’ or a ‘dream trip,’ is how they described it. They listed her bucket list, and the pictures… I was not prepared for those. I didn’t know she was sick. I don’t even know what she was struggling with. I don’t even know if she is better.
It isn’t natural – this locking out of a child’s life. It isn’t right.
It isn’t like I would do anything illegal to get them back – or intrude on their lives and confuse them, or… It isn’t right.
She was sick. She may be sick. It is likely (as that is what wish trips are) that she is/was severely sick. And I didn’t know. I read it, and couldn’t stop crying for many days.
I read further and found that they had adopted her the very same month that I had been diagnosed with Autism two years ago. It made sense. It really did. They had her from birth until she was placed with us at 14 months old. She went back to them a short time after she was moved from our home (they all did – only the older two were moved after that.) They have had her most of her life. It does make sense, but it hurts, too.
She was my baby.
Besides, how could they adopt her, and not the older two?
My mind was struggling with such news all at once. If I had known all along… but then it might have hurt as much then. How could I know?
It was my husband’s birthday – and my pain was deep. However, I felt I couldn’t share it with him. Not on his birthday. So I kept quiet, and turned away to cry, and tried (and failed) to smile, and… I wonder what he thought was wrong with him that day. I can only hope he didn’t think it was about him.