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Breaking the Silence in the New Year

I’m not even sure where to begin here … it’s been quite a while (“hiatus” indeed, right?!). I suppose I’m here to reflect. How unique of me to do around New Years.

2013 has been certainly the most memorable year of my life – the highest of highs and lowest of lows. A quick review:

  • January 20 – E proposed, I said yes!
  • February – E and I officially start our journey toward foster parenthood by attending an info session
  • March – MAPP classes begin
  • June 27 – We became parents to a beautiful 10 month old
  • August – We celebrated Monica’s first birthday
  • August 23 – We said tearful goodbyes to our first child
  • August 24 – Our wedding shower
  • November 9 – E and I said “I do,” the happiest day of our lives.
  • Our first holidays together as a married couple

I’ve tried many times to blog here again, and I never quite know where to start. I’m all too aware that my readers (if indeed I still have readers) are a dizzying mix of people who know every detail of what has transpired over the past four months, those who know just enough, and those who know nothing at all. As I’m sure those of you who don’t know have guessed, E and I are no longer parenting Monica. Though I cannot (nor do I want to) rehash the whole story here (I know, I’m sorry), Monica was moved from our home at the end of August. We are no longer privy to information about her, but we believe she is still in foster care. She was moved to another home in our state, and is (per account from a social worker months ago) doing well. I’ve had the past four + months to think about (in detail) all of the broken components of this system that, from our perspective, failed Monica, us, and countless future foster children we most likely will not care for. Despite all of this time, we still can’t quite sort out all that we’ve been through, and why.¬†

When it comes to Monica’s departure from our care, the most difficult thing for us was how sudden everything happened. From the time we found out about the move to the time we said goodbye was less than an hour. Neither of us were prepared for the total lack of time to prepare ourselves, say goodbye, pack her things … it was a truly upsetting emotional experience. Worst of all, poor Monica was just as suddenly thrust into yet another world she didn’t know, with not one familiar face. E and I are so lucky to have had our amazing support system of friends and family to help us through the loss; Monica had to deal with loss on her own, with only new people around to help her through. Unfortunately, our ability to grieve was disrupted significantly due to our need to deal with the workings of a broken system, including protecting ourselves. We had done so much to prepare ourselves to say goodbye to Monica. In fact, we knew it was an inevitability. Regardless, nothing could have prepared us for the manner in which we eventually had to say goodbye. Only now, more than four months later, have we begun to be able to talk about Monica, laugh about her quirks, bring her up in casual conversation … It was only two weeks ago that we went through all of her things and started the daunting task of dismantling the nursery.

Although all of the things that drove us to foster parenthood still remain, at this point, we are not fostering. I believe we may revisit fosterhood at some point, but for now we need to focus on healing from our experience and starting our lives together.¬†Obviously, we’ve had quite a year! Our wedding was so perfect, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to be legally wed (it really does feel different!). We are hopeful that Monica is in a good home, continuing to thrive and to transfer her healthy attachments to her new foster parent. This year saw us become parents, and now we are parents without children. I truly hope (and believe) that 2014 will be a year of healing, of love, and maybe even pursuit of parenthood (foster or otherwise) again.¬†