I'm 30 years old and tonight and sit and try to put myself in a place of loss. Not just in a loss of something I will one day forget about, but the loss of parent. Both of my parents are alive, I was raised by them and though my dad worked away from home a lot, I always knew he was coming home. I have no idea what it feels like to lose a parent by death, abandonment or because I couldn't be cared for.
In September of this year our family took in two boys 4 years old and 7 months old. Mom dropped them off with dad and to this day we have no idea where she is. I wonder if she had this planned? I wonder if she just woke up and decided this would be for the best? I wonder what it was like as a mother of two young boys to drop off your children and know that you may just never see them again? These boys suffered one of the greatest losses of life. The loss of their mother.
Dad wanting what's best for his children and knowing he needed help reached out to look for someone to care for his boys even if it meant leaving them at an orphanage. Help was found. Help was about two hours away which meant visits would be rare. Help came and again they suffer another loss. I wonder if the 4 year old thought, Will I ever see my daddy again? What about mommy? I remember looking at him and seeing sadness in his face. He didn't say a word the whole time we talked with dad, he didn't say a word on the drive home, I'm not even sure he said a word until the first night when he slept he woke crying "Papa, Papa." How do you console a crying child when the one person he wants isn't around to comfort him?
Over the next three months we see joy come out of him, he becomes a part of our family. We become Mami and Papi. We teach him to pray before meals, he gives our family kisses before bed, he shows love and compassion to those in our neighborhood, and he even says things you didn't think a 4 year old would think about. Then the day comes for Dad to visit. What a joyous time it was for our little guy to see his Papa, until of course it's time for the visit to end and he realizes Papa is leaving without him. The sadness comes back and the tears flow. That feeling of loss has come back.
Only a few weeks later and it's time. We are excited and our sweet boy is excited. Papa is coming for his boys. It was a day of mixed emotions.
It's visit time to see how the boys are doing. Dad is working out of town, so the boys are staying with someone. The sadness is back and hearts are broken. The same look I saw on the day we took him home is the same look I see in the pictures Chris shows me of his visit. My heart sinks and I fight back the tears.
As I look at the picture I wonder a few things...
Is he angry with dad?
Is he angry with us?
Does he miss his mommy?
Does he miss our family?
Is he thinking, am I not good enough for anyone?
You may think he is too young to think these things, but when you see through those eyes you can tell he is thinking one or many of these things. He may only be 4 years old but he is not too young to know that this isn't they way it's suppose to be.