Circling the drain…
I’ve been doing much more thinking about writing than actual writing lately. It’s like a giant funnel: catching ideas from here, there and everywhere and leaving the silly dribble behind and only taking that of substance to continue on. Well, something of great substance has occurred recently and I’ve been trying to find a way to talk about it. I’ve sat down to write it many times and thought about it in my head thousands more. But I’m having trouble finding the words. Actually, I can think of many words, it’s putting them together in a cohesive manner I’ve been experiencing difficulty with. I’ve talked about it with FF to great lengths and my girl G has been cheering me on and open to my feelings. But I couldn’t figure out how to say it here. How to tell those of you that stop in to see what’s going on. Those of you who know me only through my words here & on Twitter. It’s not that those are not really me, just there is so much more to me than anyone can learn through the internet alone. I just don’t know how to convey this kind of news in the way it deserves – with compassion & understanding. With respect, dignity & love. Now that I’ve built up the drama, I’ll just be out with it, and I’ll explain the dramatics after. My parents are fostering a child – and he’s dying.
Sis works in the health field and Baby’s case came across her desk. He was shaken at 5 weeks old. And that is how old he will remain – for as long as he lives. He will not grow. He will not see. He won’t walk or talk or even be able to eat on his own. My parents couldn’t say no. They’ve never had a foster child before. But his story is so heartbreaking it’s almost unbelievable. My mother couldn’t bear the thought of him not knowing love. She just felt that the tragic beginnings of this sweet little boy’s life deserved a peaceful, love filled ending. And while I couldn’t find fault with that reasoning, I did feel a very real and rational fear. And then, and even now, there was guilt.
I had immediately thought of myself. How will this make me feel? How will this affect me? How can I let a baby into my life and for sure into my heart only to have to say goodbye? While everyone we speak to every day is dying, thinking of a baby who has limited time is unbearable! What a cruel reminder of how unfair life can be. But why think so negatively? Maybe when he is somewhere he is loved and cared for he will flourish. The doctors won’t have such a negative prognosis. And the battle waged on inside my head and my heart…
My parent’s went to meet him and their love for him was immediate & desperate. The house went into motion in preparation for a homecoming. More visits were made the distance to a different state to learn more about his health and his routines. I saw one picture in this time. It was e-mailed to me by Sis who was still on my shit list. The tears stung and my heart grew in that moment the attachment opened. He was perfect. Even if he wasn’t, he.was.perfect.
The date of Baby coming home was the same as moving day for FF and I. Mom & Dad travelled down while we were filling trucks & moving boxes. They learned how to bathe him, how to use his feeding tube, how to massage his small, frail body. They learned his night-time routines, spent the night in a hotel and returned to the hospital the following morning to learn how to handle wake ups & mornings. And when FF & finished working that Monday, we stopped at my parents on the way home. From the picture I had seen and the descriptions I had heard, nothing prepared me for that moment. I learned it is possible to both fall in love & have your heart broken in the exact same second.
He was sweet & innocent and so much smaller than I had imagined yet thinking about what his parents did to him enraged me. I had wanted so badly to protect myself from the pain I knew Baby would bring. The pain you feel in looking at his curled body that contracts with spasms. The pain of knowing I was going to fall in love yet have to say goodbye. But I loved in the very instant I met him. I now understood how & why my parents were doing this – how could you not?! How could you let this innocent little human waste away in a pediatric nursing facility where he was cared for but no one had the time to devote to loving him? Simple. You can’t.
He has now been with my parents for a little over a month. They are fluent in pedi hi-tech language. They are realizing that parenting in your 60s in VERY different than it was the first time around. They are realizing how difficult it is to get what they need from DCF (who have been great for the record but Baby is understandably very high maintenance). He is holding up well although his hearing looks like it may be deteriorating and he has begun having seizures. At this point we are all taking it a day at a time. At this point my worry is no longer for how I will deal with this. I worry about the emotional effects on my parents for sure, but BMan has grown to truly love Baby and at 3 I’m not sure how that will all play out. But I have resolved to truly take this one day at a time. We will deal with whatever comes our way as a FAMILY (yes, Sis & I have made up. Baby entering our lives was so much bigger than our petty drama. Someday we will talk it out. Until then, the feud has ended – although she does NOT and WILL NOT learn about my newish twitter handle or this blog.). If you have questions or concerns I would love to hear them. Just please remember this is a very sensitive topic and should be treated accordingly. XO