Oddly, Luke and Emma haven't asked much about the other two that were here. After we said goodbye, Luke and I had a moment of a few tears and hugs as we watched them drive away. Joe and Emma hide their emotions much better than we do - but I'm sure they were a bit teary as well.
They literally seemed to forget about them in about 5 minutes.
Instead of having a depressing mood, we decided to set the tone to be as positive as possible when we said goodbye. The night before they left, we had a going away party without really calling it that. We took them to TJMaxx and let them pick out a few outfits and toys. Then we came home and had ice cream, then we sang songs, and then we had movie night with popcorn. We wanted to celebrate that they were here - but we also wanted to say goodbye in a positive way.
When we met the social worker, there was no lengthy goodbye. In fact, the social worker was trying to push it along rather quickly - we did have to slow things down a bit. Everyone hugged and a few tears were shed, but it really wasn't a negative experience.
We explained to Luke and Emma that they couldn't stay with us. I think they got it. They saw the havoc that was being wrecked. But there was still that part of them that wished it could work out.
We all had that little part in us.
After we dropped them off, we had a fun family day. We went to the park and went out to lunch. Luke actually thanked me. "Thank you, mommy, for wanting to take care of us first. I love you! They'll be okay, right?" as he hugged me super-tight.
Fast forward a week and a half and things are getting back to normal. I've finally put away all the baby stuff. There's really no "evidence" left that we had two more kids here. And yet - finally - the questions are starting.
Luke just asked me, "Mommy, do you think she and Emma will get along better the next time we see them?" I answered, "Honey, we're not going to see them anymore." "Oh...like never?" "Yes honey, never." "Oh...Not even for a visit?" "No baby." "Oh...Well, do you think someone else will take care of them then? Maybe someone who doesn't have kids can take care of them because she couldn't get along with me and Emma, right?"
Emma didn't hear this conversation between Luke and I, but she also brought it up. We were in Target and she wanted to buy the baby some clothes. I reminded her we won't see them anymore. She pretty much asked the same questions Luke did. Later she said, "What happened to them before they came to our house?" I said, "What do you mean, sweetheart?" She said, "I mean, why did their mom decide she didn't want them anymore? And how come she decided that?"
I explained to her that I think their mom just wanted a better life for them. That she realized that she couldn't do a good job taking care of them and wanted to find someone who could do a good job.
"Do all birthmothers do that?" she innocently asked.
Oh boy. The conversation suddenly got deep with my 5 year old.
And so I explained that most birthmothers keep their children. I explained that her birthmother wanted a better life for her. "Luke's too?" she asked. "Yes, Luke's too." "Why aren't you a birthmother, mommy?" "I don't know, sweetheart, but I am your mommy now." "I know, mommy. Thank you!" Then she asked if our friend was the birthmother to her dogs. HA!
Thank God for humor in the middle of deep conversations.
I do think the kids get it. I really do. For as much as any of us can really grasp what has happened here.
If nothing else, this has certainly given me a glimpse into the mind of birthmothers. I now know what it's like to walk away and never see children again - all for the sake of wanting what's best for them - and for us.
I could never wrap my head around it before. I barely can now.
It is all still so surreal....