Kid goodbyes are hard. They don’t like going to someone new. You hand them off at daycare or nursery and there’s the silent scream, lips turning purple, desperate clawing to get back to that familiar person. Kid goodbyes are hard because lingering doesn’t work. You have to rip off the Band Aid and hightail your butt outta there before you make it worse.
Today was our second goodbye to the same child. This time to another foster home. For the most part, it was another day. We went to rummage sales in the morning, had nap time, changed diapers, watched him as he threw food from his high chair, and then we packed up his small bag of belongings and got him ready to leave. We prayed as a family while he squirmed to be put down. We kissed and cuddled, said our farewells to a toothy grin that was too young to comprehend what was happening, and we loaded the van.
“As soon as she takes him, we have to leave,” my husband reminded on the drive there. Right, Band Aid. I know what’s coming. I can do this.
It’s very possible that this will be the last time I’ll see him. Here’s the last image I’ll have: him silent screaming and being carried off, arms outstretched towards us.
Kid goodbyes are hard.
It wasn’t a great moment, but we have to keep it in perspective. He’ll be okay in his new home. He’ll be loved. The discomfort will fade away into a sense of security with a new family. And the goodbye doesn’t have to define the time we had with him.
This child made us laugh, and we got to see his handsome dimples when he did that gleeful inhale shriek. We were able to do life with him, and we saw him grow. For each one of us, he helped us become better. We had the privilege to meet him, love on him, and now we’ll be able to pray for his future. We would have missed out on so much if we had chosen that we couldn’t do it because we didn’t want to endure the goodbye, that silent scream goodbye.
We can actually endure a lot because we have hope. Our hope is an anchor for our soul, firm and secure. It’s a living hope. Our faith in the Lord carries us through those rocky parts, and we have the assurance that our lives, even with those ridiculously tough things, aren’t meaningless.
I have this limited perspective on my life. It doesn’t always make sense, and to be honest, I’m in a season right now where it seems very little of it makes sense. But God is unchanging. He remains the same God when I feel directionless, and He sees the big picture. He has a plan for my life, and He has a plan for that little boy we said goodbye to today. And his plans are good.
Below is a song from Danny Gokey that is great for the brokenhearted and those who need encouragement. I have to admit that the style of the song isn’t my favorite, but after hearing his testimony, I appreciate him and the lyrics. Check it out.