Brothers Helper (13 years) and Excited (8 years) are back with us again for the week. We are very happy to have them stay with us for a short bit, though it feels a little odd.
Last time they stayed with us, we offered to adopt them. Of course, they don’t know that. I’m not sure if the family who is actually adopting them knows that. We only told the social worker, saying that we would be thrilled to adopt them, but would give priority to the long-term foster family. And that other couple decided to make Helper and Excited their forever sons.
It’s the right thing. The other family is wonderful and the boys have been with them a long time. Yet, I look at the boys’ smiling faces and think to myself “these darling boys almost were mine.” My heart shouts in my in mind – tell them you love them so much that you wanted to make them family members, that you never want to let go. But I don’t say a word about what almost was.
Instead I say “I love you” and “I’m so happy you get to visit again.” Instead, I let the love shine through my eyes. Instead, I make them their favorite homemade pizza.
Why not mention anything about adoption? Because they need to feel 100% committed to their new family and it could be confusing. In the heat of the moment, one of the boys could say they prefer us over the other family, wounding their mom- and dad-to-be. Or they could feel torn, feeling they had to make a choice. It’s best to stay in the wings as the other family that adores them, like an aunt and uncle. The helper family.
It makes me wonder, though. How many people are out there deeply, truly loving you and me, who for one reason or another can’t tell us?