L and O are gone.
We took a goodbye tour of the school for L during teacher preplanning -- she got to say goodbye to her teacher and some of the staff. She saw the new spirit wear going up on display and got very clingy and whispered that she wished she was going to our school again next year.
O took a walk through the house before we left for the last time, saying goodbye to every room.
When we got to the meeting hand-off location, L was cool and calm with us. Excited to see her mom, with a big hug and grin for her, L climbed in Mom's car very quickly and had to be told (by Mom) to get back out and say goodbye.
O made the rounds of last hugs and I was surprised to see tears welling up. It started when Peter told him goodbye with a big hug, and then O turned to me to say goodbye. I didn't think he would understand how "forever" that goodbye is likely to be, but he sure seemed to!
After that, it was much harder to let O drive off with BioMom than it was to see L go. L was so clearly done with her goodbyes and ready to go before she even got in our car that last time, but O seemed to struggle with it a bit more. I hope he's been OK since, but I'll never really know, will I?
In the time since they left, we've had a family debrief of "how it all went." My house is almost thoroughly clean again and I'm caught up on the laundry. School has started and the house is quiet for long stretches of the day. We've repaired the things L broke in his room. I touched up the paint on his walls, as well.
I'm enjoying the little things. The ability to leave Peter, Susan and Edmund home alone while I run to the grocery store for a short list; it's a 30 minute absence where I'm never more than 5 minutes away, but I can't leave a 12 year old in charge of foster kids of any age. The luxury of knowing that the kids will be thrilled at getting a book from the bookstore. The fact that we can go more than 2 meals without needing to run the dishwasher. The general quieter noise level in the car and around the table. The idea that I can keep up with the laundry on less than 2 loads a day.
Throughout all this, I've been itching to dig into my boxes of "extra clothes", wanting to reorganize it all. I keep telling myself that I have to get all the "needs to be done" things finished first. Then, I'll tackle the project that is reorganizing my hand-me-downs, so that I can pull out a certain size and gender on a moment's notice again......