I was not prepared last night for how I felt. I had seen A's (our 2nd foster daughter) grandma at Wal-mart numerous times since I left A with her over 3 years ago. But I have not seen A since that dreadful day.
So last night when I was at Wal-mart and heard a familiar voice scream "Get back here before I knock your head off" I was not prepared for the feelings that flooded over me when I looked up to see A running in front of her grandma. I only knew it was A because her grandma was following her. I probably would not have recognized her without her grandma there.
My heart skipped a beat as I look down into the eyes of this beautiful little girl that I last saw when she was 11 months old. But what broke my heart even more was when I said "Hi A" and she looked directly at me and said "How do you know me?" I just replied that I knew her when she was a baby and then she bounced away.
Her grandmother then told me that she doesn't know that she was taken away and lived with a foster family. I don't blame her. Would a 4 year old really understand that anyway? She only lived with us for a month. Yet I was surprised at how quickly she bonded with me.
At visits she would get down and go see her mom and grandma, but if she was hurt in the least little way she would come running back to me for comfort. She never had a problem leaving the visits either. I would say it was time to go and she would just tot on over and hold up her arms to me.
She looked happy last night. Her grandma said she finally kicked the mom out and does not allow her to see A anymore. That was a huge relief to me. Last time I saw the grandma she told me that the mom was watching her while grandma was at work. I didn't understand how the grandma could have custody because the mom was seen as unfit, yet the mom was allowed to babysit.
I walked around Wal-mart in a daze the rest of my shopping trip. My heart ached for this little one and the life that will be her's. Yet, I know that it was meant to be. If she had stayed even one month longer, we would not have gotten Nevaeh.
So all I can do is hope that she felt loved the month she was with us and that somehow that carries over to the rest of her life.
And then I remember how blessed I am to have this little one that I thought was going home after being with us for over 19 months.
This is her 18 month Easter picture that was taken right before she started overnight visits at the halfway house.
If you would like to see the video I made when I thought she was going home you can go here. It is dedicated to all who have loved a foster baby and had to let them go. It is a feeling that can never be explained if you have not lived it.
These children live forever in your hearts.