I had been packing all day, because I didn't really think there was any doubt he was leaving.
So, when I got the call, it didn't take long to put the last few things in the boxes and bags and start loading the car.
I drove him home, unloaded his things and gave him to his mother.
She looked straight at me -- which she rarely does -- and said, in a clearer and louder voice than I have ever heard from her, "Thank you."
I bawled the whole way home.
I know N is where he belongs.
I trust that God watched over that day -- the day he went home -- with a smile.
I believe his time with us has served its purpose.
(Mr. D put it well when he said that what we did for N was prevent this time of his life being a period in which
he did not feel loved. He will not remember any of this and
that is good. He will not remember the hospital stays and the needles
and the staples and the IVs. He will have the scars and whatever stories his family tells him about them. What we hope he will also carry with him is the
emotional strength that comes from the simple fact of having been loved
through all of it.)
But right now? Oh, right now, I am struggling. Everything rational in me says "this is right, this is how it should be, this is good." But rationality is not the order of the day at the moment. Because this was the case. This was the one where I loved that child as deeply as the ones I birthed. This is the one where I never reached the point where the hard was outweighing the good -- even for a moment or a day. This is the one where it was hard to let him go.
Or maybe it was just the first one of those.