It was three weeks ago that I began thinking about this day. I wondered how we would remember October 19th. If we had been able to adopt T, then like other adoptive parents we would have been able to celebrate “gotcha day.” But we are far from that right now. The uncertainty that surrounds this time can be a little stifling. We are very close to adopting a baby, but it’s hard to be happy for the one when the loss of the other hovers over you like a cloud.
As we prepare for the new arrival, we have to face what many parents probably face—how to help a toddler accept the changes that come with a new little brother or sister. For us, for him, the answer is a cool new room. You see, T’s current room is small and cozy—it’s a baby’s room. It’s not for a crazy, running, tumbling, little, toddler boy. It’s time for graduation. He needs more space; he needs bookshelves and a place to put his massing population of stuffed animals. He needs a big boy bed rather than the convertible crib that he is currently in. We began to plan to fill the bare spaces of his new room and talked about cool furnishings, art, little boy bedding, rugs and lighting.
Last weekend, as I stood in the half finished room admiring the paint and new bedding, tears began to well up. I began to question the amount of effort that we were going to, knowing that he might actually only be in that room for a few months. The answer was simple, though. In approaching this transition we did not want it to seem to T that he was being pushed out to make room for a baby. We especially didn’t want him to think that he was any less apart of the family because he was a foster child. His legal status has no bearing upon what he means to the both of us—it never has. So we move forward regardless of what his future holds.
It’s funny, or maybe not so much, that we seem to be destined to this life of Yin and Yang. I can always feel the Yin sadness waiting to creep back in. It’s as if all I can see is loss and grief. I sometimes wonder if someone reading our posts might think that is all we experience as parents. I forget that life with T has always been about the Yang. With T, I have lived more joyful moments than at any other time in my life. Sometimes I need to be reminded of that. Maybe if I spin the circle around I could focus more on the Yang, on what is wonderful in my life.
With that in mind and the knowledge that soon another little one will cross our threshold, just as T did on October 19, 2007, it is time to mark the day. In our living room with our candle, our doggies, our photo album, we three gather again to say goodbye to year two and light the light of the first day of year three. Happy Gotcha Day!