We are very sad to say that our first placement has come to an end. Though it's been a couple weeks, it's still very had to talk about, partially because it wasn't due to reunification with the bio-family (which was the goal), but also because we do not yet know why the kids were removed from our home so suddenly (25 hours notice) and we miss them very much.
Telling the kids they were leaving was so hard on us because we had to gently explain why we were rushing to pack up and move the last 7+ months of their lives and see the tears flow as they expressed their desire to stay. It was heartbreaking to make them go when we too wanted them to stay. They came with nothing but the clothes on their backs, and those clothes didn't even fit, so we literally started from scratch and had to get as much of it together and ready to go as quickly as possible. Hurried packing is not my forte, to say the least. The kids forgot their pillows and special travel/car blankets. I forgot to pack their life books and Father's Day gifts (for Bio-Dad), and did not have time to complete the last load of laundry to send the last of their clothes with them. There are remnants of their presence all over the house and I just cannot bring myself to clean it up and pack it away yet.
So, the great debate begins. What do we do with two extra bedrooms? Do we turn the kids' room/nursery into our bundle of joy's bedroom, and have it sit empty for the next four months until baby is born, or longer? Do we take on another foster placement as soon as possible or do we take a break for a while? Do we take the second kids' room and turn it back into an office/guest room? Do we put a bassinet on our baby registry and plan for baby to be in our room or do we stick with the crib we have and leave it in the nursery? Do we repaint the walls? Do we put away the toddler beds? Do we store everything, so I can walk down the hallway without ending up on my knees crying and praying? I just don't know. We don't know.
For now, we are just doing the best we can to make it day by day. The hardest part is not knowing if the kids are ok, or why they were moved in the first place. There's been no contact from the social/case workers since the day the kids left. I just can't bring myself to get together the last of the kids belongings and paperwork. I guess it's because I know, as soon as I hand it over, that's the end of this chapter for us. I'm just not ready to close the book on these kids yet, not after all they've been through and all the work it took to get them this far. Hopefully, soon we'll have either answers or peace about it all, but for now we wait on the Lord for our next steps. In the mean time, there is plenty to consider and work on to pass the time.