Yesterday, on National Daughter’s Day, we found out we were having our third son.
Today, is our first foster daughter’s 2nd birthday. It’s hard to believe that almost 2 years ago, we began our journey with that precious girl, and she still touches us each day. 9 months of being her family, then a terrible goodbye, with the remainder of the time passed defending ourselves and compiling notes and documents to try and love another needful child. Next week, we are finally getting a visit from a social worker—to re-tour our house, to re-establish our guidelines, and to, hopefully, finish the traumatic chapter of losing her in a wrongful way. So that one day, we are ready again.
We know nothing about how she is doing and growing, what was done with her baby book and the loving notes everyone sent, how her family is and if she is down to 1 nap a day. We are painfully aware of the anonymity of being foster parents, combined with the unique distinction of being guilty till proven innocent should someone say something against you. We feel like veterans but really have only loved one absent child.
It’s hard to explain why we know that 3 carseats fit across our car bench, or why I know that 3 kids is really tough, or why there are boxes of girl things and a pink lamp in our home. It’s hard to accept that a social worker can come in here, 15 months later, and try and ask our kids about it all, again, still.
A lot of people, including myself, thought that conceiving a daughter may help us and encourage us as we continue entrusting Sweet Girl to her permanent family, continue putting to rest the wrongs that were done, and continue with the future of our family. So many thoughts and emotions came flying in after finding out we were having a son. Relief to know. Thankfulness for his healthy limbs and heartbeat. Surprise over the verdict. Wonder over if we would ever have a daughter to raise. Wonder over how he will be different from his very distinct older brothers. Fear that he would be the same size as his brothers.
For now, we will keep the boxes of girl clothes, the unused hair ribbons, the fabric bought for curtains. They will still be marked with only her memory and the hope and mystery of what could be. We will figure out what to do with the lace curtains, and if 3 boys can share a little room, and, eventually, assuming we are re-certified in this lifetime, we will know when to open our doors and hearts to another miracle of a daughter. We will joyfully assess the boy onesies and dust off the old craigslist infant swing. A baby boy is coming, and, like everything, he will be a surprise and a grace to us.
He is so loved already and our arms have been ready for a long time.