came into our family, I knew this day might come.
When I received the notification from their CPS worker, my heart plummeted. My mind raced with emotions from anger, sadness, fear and helplessness. Logically, I keep telling myself what I heard in training, these are children of the State but my heart would tell me otherwise.
To me, they were my daughters even if I never carried them for 9 months or shared the same last name. I was the one who wiped their tears when they hurt and slept on floor by their bed during their night terrors. To me, I love them just as much as my own biological children. Letting our girls go and return back to their biological environment was so hard for us to do but we have no choice, we have to do what the court has ordered and have faith that all that everyone who was involved is doing what is best for the girls and their future.
Since we didn’t know if the girls would be taken either next week or next month, I decided to slowly pack a few things each from their room and put them into large black garbage bags. I was hoping this would make it easier the day CPS showed up on my doorstep to take the girls back so I wouldn’t be running around like crazy Momma!
The girls were told they were going to return back to their biological family the night before CPS was to arrive at our home to take them. Olivia, the oldest was happy to hear the news but she didn’t understand that she would never see or talk to us again. She kept thinking she would be coming back to our house and she was just going on another biological visit to the CPS office. I really don’t think she ever understood that she will never see us again. Claire, our youngest took it the hardest and I thought she would have taken it much better than our oldest, Olivia.
The window blinds were opened and Olivia spotted CPS’s car and she ran out the door and nearly knocked me down and jumped in the back of the car ready to go all buckled up. She didn’t say goodbye, didn’t hug us, and didn’t say see you later or anything. This was not what I expected. It did give me some level of comfort knowing she’d be happy going back. Claire was the most difficult to let go as she had become glued to me as soon as she saw the CPS car pull up and had a completely opposite reaction that hit me like a ton of bricks. Letting Claire go and trying to peel her off of me while crying “no Mommy, no Mommy,” hurt so badly while I walked out the front door and tried to buckle her into her car seat. Instinctively as a Mom, I want to hold her and keep her safe and ease her fears as I did when she entered our home the very first time as a scared and freighted little girl who sat in the corner of our kitchen trying to hide.
The girls were placed into their car seats, baby dolls in their arms and I leaned over and hugged and kissed Olivia and Claire goodbye for the last time and whispered to each of them “you are loved and you are beautifully made.”
Christy Benson is director of Clinical Informatics Analysis & Measurement for Texas Health Resources, Mom to two boys, and former foster Mom to two girls who will always remain in her heart.