"My first choice would be to go live with my mom. My second choice would be to live somewhere with my younger siblings. My third choice would be to stay with you." Truer words could not have come from my 12 year old's mouth. As much as she enjoys living with me, I am definitely third. She told me this, in no uncertain terms, about 2 months ago, and at that point, I was comfortable being third. Third place Olympians still get a spot on the stand and a medal, right? I thought I was pretty comfortable being third. Not the top of the heap, but not last, either.
Fast forward to now. There are plans, actively in the works, to have this precious 12 year old move to another state to live with her grandparents and her siblings. In my head, I am sure this is the absolute BEST thing for her, and her family. But, my heart is breaking a little bit. I had been able to convince myself that this was a mere 90% possibility, but after the past week, I know the wheels are turning to have her moved. "My" precious Big Girl is going somewhere else. I won't be able to hear her laugh. She won't ask for pizza & ice cream every night for dinner. She won't ask to stay up "just 30 more minutes" or play a game on the computer. We won't read together any more. We won't laugh ourselves silly, or cry when we forgive each other for hurts. She won't snuggle up against me at night to pray, or ask me to scratch her back when she lays down. My heart aches, and we have about 10 days left together. I'm sitting here tonight, with the littles sleeping & big girl out with friends, wondering what to do. How do we transition? How do I know she'll be okay?
I don't know. I pray. I have a glass of wine. I wonder about what it will be like when I am not first for the little ones either. I pray some more. I trust God to heal my shattered heart, and to mend their broken ones. I pray for the right words. I pray to only cry a little bit more. I hope the right words come when I tell the 3 year old where her "sister" is going. I hope she doesn't think brothers & sisters aren't forever. I remember that I signed up for this hurt, so that she would hurt less. I grieve.
But not yet. I hope I'm strong enough to love her well in her remaining days. I don't want to withdraw to avoid getting hurt. I want to send her to her family with the happiest of memories, not feeling like she escaped just in time. I want there to be that bittersweet mix of joy & sadness when she leaves, not just relief. But, like my 12 year old, what I REALLY want is home. I want to be in heaven, where there aren't hurts, or foster care, or orphans, or sadness; only joyous praise.