I’ve tried to think of what to say about this day. It seems like there is usually a bit of reflection, some hand-wringing, a little sadness and then it’s topped off with a heaping of hope. A few years ago I wouldn’t have believed that I/we would be in this kind of limbo still. We have coped, ignored and refrained from thinking about our son’s future. But nowadays mostly, we live our lives and that is the greatest preoccupation of all. We are a family of four and the parenting demands and busyness that is our everyday life—that’s what keeps the uncertainty at bay.
What makes this year different is that now, instead of it just being about our foster son, we have a baby in the house. As the family has grown and evolved, not only have Darrow and I changed as parents, the two boys have changed the dynamic in the house. They laugh and play together and are bonded. Our family as an entity has changed, has evolved into this living-being of four.
What’s more the little frail infant has become this bounding, engaging, slightly spazzy boy. T is able to hold conversations and can recount the events of the day. He now unfolds grand plans upon unwitting daddies that would enable him to watch TV, have a cookie, or achieve whatever target his nearly four-year old brain has in its sights. It also means he is probably old enough to know why today is a special day. It may be time to begin talking to him about his situation.
Finally, and maybe most importantly, is that this is the year. After three years of plans for reunification and hearings and the parade of people who have popped in and out his life, we are set for the final episode of this long novella. Sometime soon a judge will have to choose the fate of our son. We know that this will likely be our last year living in uncertainty.
For now though, we do as we always do at this time of the year, we light a candle, we look at the photo album of Baby T and remember that day, October 19, 2007 when that little baby boy crossed our threshold and changed all of our lives forever. Happy Gotcha Day to us.