The night we brought T. home his foster mother helped us pack up the car with his box of clothes and toys. When we were ready to leave, there was crying – she cried and we cried and he observed it all. I saw a look on his face that there was some acknowledgment, some sense it was ending there.

My husband drove and I sat in the back next to him. We made it to the end of the driveway and he let go. The sobs were painful. It wasn’t the crying you hear from two-year-old’s of “I want to stay up!” or “I want that to have that!” It was loss. It was mournful. It was unbearable. My husband and I looked at each other in the rear view mirror. I tried to comfort him. Here’s the thing – you can’t say to someone whose life you have just upended “You can trust us we won’t hurt you.” “We are good.” “We are decent.” Words mean nothing.

A few minutes in to it my husband asked if we should pull over. Pull over where? To the future where it didn’t hurt? I started looking frantically through my purse for something – a magic wand? What I did next I have no idea where it came from. I pulled one of my business cards out and turned to him and said, “It was so great to meet you I hope we can keep in touch after the conference. Here’s my business card.”  I handed it to him – still sobbing he took it. My husband said, “I don’t mean to be critical but that’s lame.” I knew he meant it was insane. I kept up the chatter, “Oh, it’s just been great getting hear your ideas. I hope we keep in touch.” He eventually stopped crying and handed the card back to me making little sounds like he was saying something. I didn’t question it. I just kept it up. For 45 minutes we handed the card back and forth and talked about how we wanted to stay in touch.

I don’t think I did anything that night that was so great but I do know our son has an open heart.  He has taught me that’s how you weather the storms.

This entry was posted in Adopting, By Notatypicalmom, Foster care by Kari Wagner-Peck. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kari Wagner-Peck

Kari Wagner-Peck lives with her husband and son in Maine. She is a writer & storyteller who home schools with her son. She is the author of the memoir Not Always Happy: An Unusual Parenting Journey, May, 2017, Central Recovery Press. She has been published at CNN, Psychology Today online, The New York Times Well Family blog, The Huffington Post, The The Good Men Project, The Sydney Morning Herald Daily Life blog, BLOOM and Love That Max among others. Author page: Twitter @KariWagnerPeck and Facebook: Email:

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