I am loving, parenting, mothering a phantom baby.




He is here now. His contagious laughs, frequent night waking, boy toys, and daily Tupperware-cupboard emptying all make his presence known.
But it does not look as though he will stay.
I know that time will pass as quickly as it does when you really just want it to slow down. Or maybe even stop for awhile.
And time will take with it this child who I have learned to love as a son.
It will be too soon that the social workers will come, and it will be our final goodbye. Just writing this my tears stream, and I try not to ugly-cry. (Not working.)
I believe it is a simple matter of time before the emptiness of him gone will settle into every crevice of our household. Settle into every heart that has fallen for this baby.
His bath towel will be here, unused. His dresser, empty. The trucks and trains we’ve collected will only be remembered by the photos we’ll have of him playing. His high chair cleaned, folded and stored in the garage. His car seat taken out of the car, and stored right along with his high chair.
I feel the need to keep up appearances. To be stoic, and martyr-y, and tell you it is worth it. To act like a saint by bottling up feelings. Because I still believe in foster parenting. And I still believe that more of you guys should seriously consider it.
But I am no saint, and I have a feeling I would make a terrible martyr. Yet my hope is still that as we complete our time with Z … No matter how messy or beautiful that time will be … You might still consider opening your home and hearts.
I will get through this. I’m a big girl. But I can’t help but fear that the separation will be too hard on Z. 
Even though I know it is poison, my heart drinks in all the worries of the what-ifs. I long to protect Z from the heartache of good-bye. I know it is coming … But he is still in his happy little world, with no idea of the changes that lay ahead.

We didn’t take Baby Z in with the intent of having a forever son … But I have a forever-mama heart for him. No matter where he lives, he’ll be my son in my heart.
And now I just need to learn this new dance. Of letting go, watching my children’s hearts break for a time, trusting God with Z and of blessing new mom. (Or old mom, as I guess she is.)
It’s a dance I must master. But I am an unwilling student at times. God has to keep leading me back here to the dance floor, telling me to trust Him.
Some of you will say, “there is hope! Court is still a few weeks away.”
But I don’t feel the right to hope that he stays. To hope that he stays means hoping that Z’s mom will fail, and that Z will be separated from his bio siblings.
am loving, parenting, mothering a phantom baby.

He is here today. Gone tomorrow.
Somehow, I need to learn to be OK with a future that may not ever have my baby Z in it again.
This is Z’s favorite way to ride in the car … Holding mama’s hand.

** As you know, there are many details of Z’s case that I cannot share. However, I have every reason to believe that reunification will happen, unless something drastic changes. At this point, that timeline could be anywhere from June through fall.

Please pray for the social workers making recommendations, the judge’s fair and clear thinking, for bio mom to be able to raise him well, for Z as he walks through this without any words to express how he feels, and our family as we let go and mend our hearts.
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