He came to us in the summer, four years ago with a chip on his shoulder, a mouth with no filter, and a yearning for something solid. Just six years old, he’d seen things…oh yes, he’d seen some things.
The parents’ rights have been terminated. The threat of reunification is long past and his memories are beginning to fade. Visitations stopped long ago, thank God. Oh, the confusion that must cause in the child who so desperately wants the parents in that little room to be just like the ones waiting in the car.
We’ll sign the papers, he’ll be our son and nobody will ever tell him he can’t call us mom and dad again. A new name. An altered birth certificate. His history…on paper, if not in the dark corners of his mind…will be erased. We’ll be expected, in some ways, to forget who he was.
But he won’t forget. He’ll idealize the good times and try to block out the bad. He’ll seek their faces in grocery stores. He’ll secretly pray for them at night after I tuck him into bed and read him a story. He’ll think of them on his birthdays and holidays and at his graduation.
He’ll be raised with love and morals, and with a healthy family. We’ll adore him…we’ll call him son…and he’ll love us like crazy.
And he’ll always wish we were them.