To write well in this true life, journal, memoir, autobiographical, blogging genre, you need to be vulnerable. I have not been ready or willing to do that since Baby Incredible left my care. Today, amidst a vast array of feelings, I began to experience these little “nudges” I always feel just before I write an entry, so here I am, messy and emotional and not at all sure that anything worth reading will come out of this exercise in transparency and vulnerability.
Baby Incredible left a lot behind at my house and in my heart. I have constant reminders of him. The stroller is still in my car. His pack and play is still set up in my living room. The boppy hangs from it, looking sad. His crib and changing table are still in my bedroom. The changing table is still stocked with diapers, wipes, and diaper rash cream. I find pacifiers everywhere: in old purses, in my car, in my garbage disposal, under the couch, or in my silverware drawer. Every once in a while I will find a baby cereal puff on my floor. The jogging stroller peeks out from behind the big comfy chair in my living room, one I used to sit in all the time with him and with Little Dude. Funny that I never sit in it anymore; I didn’t realize that until just now. His diaper bag sits on a small ottoman near the door, still filled with some of his stuff but also now with some of my things piled carelessly on top of it. The foam mats I used to put on the floor for him to sit and play on are leaning against a piece of furniture in my living room. His high chair is used for practical things like a small table fan that I can point at myself while I do the dishes in my hot kitchen. The baby swing that I’m not sure what to do with swings the slightest bit when I have the swamp cooler on or a breeze comes in from outside. There are ice cube trays of frozen pureed baby food still in my freezer and a smattering of bottles still up in my cabinet. There is a box of baby oatmeal on top of my refrigerator. Sometimes I swear I hear him crying from the other room.
Baby Incredible left his little fingerprints all over my heart. Am I sad? Yes. Do I miss him? Yes. Do I understand God’s plan in all of this? No. But I do know that he has a plan. Knowing what I know now, would I go back and change my mind about fostering Baby Incredible? No. Not in a million years. I gave him all of the love I could give in the first eight months of his life, and I would do it all over again. I pray so much that God will watch over him and give him a wonderful life in which he gets to have a relationship with God.
I am learning so much in all of this. As I am trying to learn to grieve this loss, I am learning that I am sad not just about Baby Incredible. This loss has brought up other things for me…truths that have deep roots in my heart. Babies and young children have always a source of comfort for me. I have loved them and felt really at peace when around them. I used to think I felt that way because I was “in my element”. It is in more than that. Babies have been a peace, a comfort for me, in a social world that was very anxiety producing for me. I felt the safety of acceptance and unconditional from them, something I didn’t often feel with people my own age. In essence, I am grieving the loss of that as well. I got to feel that while Baby Incredible was in my care, and it was wonderful. Now I am trying to learn to get that acceptance, love, and worth from God.
There are miracles in this story, too, for which I am so grateful. Since I took Baby Incredible back to live with his parents , he has come to visit me a few times and vice versa. (This is part of the reason why I keep his things out at my house.) His parents see the value in me still being a part of his life. Praise the Lord. I love that I still get to see him and be a part of his life. The plan is for him to be one of the ring bearers in my wedding. God is good.