My hands look glow in the dark. I've always been one of the palest of my friends. My skin is freckled more than anyone I know, but I'm still very white. My whiteness is magnified as I gently rub your forehead. I sing your favorite lullaby that you asked for "Long ago, please?" Yes, against your gorgeous deep skin I look glow in the dark.
This was a big day. We had court. A distant "kinship" requested Bear and Bee be moved to them. DHS looked at all the facts and chose that remaining with us was for their best interest. But they filed a motion to go before the judge to state their case. So for the last 4 months we have been on edge. Our adoption date came and went. They are not yet "ours". Even though they are in every way that really matters. So here we were going to court. It was interesting to get to sit in on the case this time, being "informal". We sat in the back of the tiny court room and watched silently. DHS testified and was questioned. CASA testified and was questioned. Then I was asked some questions. Then lastly the "kinship" testified and was questioned. After a long and tense couple of hours the judge ruled that given all the facts it was in their best interest to stay and be adopted by us. Which was a huge sigh of relief. And a huge sigh of loss. When it comes to children's lives there are no winners, and there are a lot of losers. The duality of celebrating our impending forever while also mourning their loss is a very confusing and difficult thing to process. Bear is old enough to remember. He remembers his Mommy and Dad. He misses them. He loves looking at their pictures I requested. He talks about them randomly. He talks about going to his "other house" randomly. How do you have a conversation with a 3 year old that they will never go "home"? Carefully, that is how. Slowly and carefully. So we begin together.
We celebrated with getting you a big boy pick.
"Momma, let me do you hair."
"That isn't meant for my hair. Do you see my hair? What color is it?"
"Yup and what color is your hair? Let's go to the mirror."
"My hair is brown."
"Yeah, almost black. Because you got your beautiful hair from your beautiful Mommy."
A huge smile spreads across your face.
"You got your hair from your Mommy, but guess what you got from Momma."
"Your heart. Momma gave you your heart."
And another huge smile spreads across your face.
Because this amazing little boy doesn't have to choose. He will always have a Mommy who loves him very much whether he sees her or not, whether it is a safe, healthy relationship or not, whether she makes good choices to be in his life or not. She loves him. Undeniably. And he is allowed to love her.
And he has a Momma who loves him very much. Who will be here for the boo-boos, and the rock-a-byes, and the milestones, and the tough and tender moments.
Our roles are different. And that is ok. Because we are just two Moms who happen to love the same kids.