I am going to be a father! Again!! Yeah!!!
Now that we have put the plan into motion, I have no doubt that there will be dishwashers full of baby bottle paraphernalia, formula crumbs on the counter and silly daddy faces over a crib sometime soon. It’s a shame that our decision to move forward has been so shrouded by the plight of our family’s tribulations with the foster care system. But I won’t let Junior no.2’s little entry into the world be haunted by the uncertain future the three of us face.
As we put the adoption application into the envelope and made our way to the Post Office, Darrow and I talked about some of the fears about moving forward and how we would, as always, make it all work. We contemplated having T put the envelope into the mail box. As I thought about it I began to cry in the car, saying out loud that I wanted this to be T’s younger brother; longing for it to be one more member of our already growing family.
I had begun telling our foster son that Daddy and Poppa are going to have a baby and that he is going to come live with us. He mostly just looks at me in wonderment, maybe believing that something exciting is happening but totally incapable of comprehending it. I was afraid to talk about this being his younger brother. I worry about it confusing the poor little guy; I worry about making false promises to him and subtly allowing myself to believe that someday he might actually stay with us. But I can’t linger there anymore. It’s time to look forward to the new addition to our household. I’ve decided that it’s okay to tell him that he is going to have a little brother.
I wonder what life will be like then? I realize that we have never had a newborn in our home. Even though little T seemed like a three month old, he was actually nine months old when he came to live with us. He certainly was not up every couple of hours for feedings like a new born. What will it be like to have two children in the house? How will our foster son react to the baby—he has never had to share us with anyone?
I also wonder what it will be like to give our child a first name and to give him our hyphenated surnames? What will it be like to take him on vacation without having to get permission first? What will it be like to take him to the pediatrician without any forms for social services? What will it be like to not have the judging eye, the subtle question, the comment raising doubts about your parenting skills? What will it mean to be just like the rest of the world who does not live in fear that someday someone may come and take your child from you? What will it mean to not have to think about visits, or permanency plans or hearings? I can’t really say. I don’t think I will know what that is like until I have lived that life for a while. I have become so conditioned as a foster parent, I wonder how long it will take me before I can be just a parent, letting go of the foster part.