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My foster baby has gone back to his mom.

His social worker phoned me at 11 a.m. on the Tuesday after the Thanksgiving long weekend, and told me they were moving him back to his mom that afternoon – would 3 p.m. be okay?  All I could say was,”Wow.  That’s really quick.”  She responded,”Well, his mom went into the program on Friday, and she had to wait the whole long weekend to have her kids moved back to her.”

The mean, nasty part of my heart was saying, yes, but she’s the one who fucked up, AND she’s only been clean for a month.  Why is she getting such special treatment, when you’re giving me four hours to say goodbye to a baby I’ve raised for the past six months?  I realize that doesn’t make me seem like the best person in the world, but people have said that I’m a saint for being a foster parent, and I want to let you know my honest reaction – not so saint like.

I suppose no matter how much time I had been given to say goodbye, it still would have hurt like hell.  Everyone asks,”But don’t you get attached?”  Yes, damn it.  Of course I got attached.  The baby is supposed to attach, and you’re supposed to attach.  Attachment is healthy.  (It’s very unhealthy when there is no attachment).

Everyone asks,”But won’t it be hard to give him back?”  Yes, very fucking hard.  It hurt.  So fucking much.  We put him in the social worker’s car, strapped him into his car seat for the last time, and watched him smile at us through the window, knowing we’d probably never see him again, and my heart shattered into a million pieces.

But here’s the thing: I am not afraid to grieve.  I am afraid of what would have happened to my foster son if no one was willing to step up and take care of him.  He has a Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa, Great Grandma and Grandpa, Aunts and Uncles, and no one – NO ONE – in his family was able to step up and take care of him.  We did.

We’re taking a break for awhile.  Mostly to give ourselves a physical and mental break after an exhausting six months.  But also to keep our home open just in case everything goes to shit in the next few weeks, and the little Bug needs to come back into care.  He’s not even a year old, and we were his third foster home.  I don’t want him to go to a fourth.

“But won’t it be hard to give him back AGAIN?”

Yes.  But it’s not about me.