I know I've been gone for ages and ages. I look at Kaleb's photos in my last post, realizing it has been almost a year; since losing him, since a cancer scare with my son, since losing my birthmom. It was a difficult year and, to tell you the truth, I got sick of having nothing but traumatic events to post -- and I couldn't imagine my readers weren't sick of it too!
And, something happened when my birthmother died. All the emotional work I'd been doing concerning my adoption/childhood seemed to settle into sort of a quiet, melancholy acceptance. Writing about "adoption issues" failed to move me because there was no longer a part of me secretly hoping it could all easily be resolved with a phone call or the right words from my mother. Both my parents are gone now. It's over.
Yes, I still carry it with me, but not in a package marked self-blame. Somehow, losing hope freed me to channel my passions into the present and future -- and in a way that honors my past.
Below is the first post of my new blog that will catch you up to speed on my life's events. This blog will remain and I hope to update it too, but you might stop by the other blog if you find it interests you too!
It was inevitable, I think, though I’d dismissed the thought a thousand times.
“My heart will break, over and again. I don’t think I can handle that. I really don’t.”
“Me foster? Too many goodbyes!”
“There’s not enough space; not enough time; not enough money.”
“. . . not enough strength to say ‘no’ when I want to say yes or ‘yes’ when I want to say no.”
So, I tried to satiate the craving to foster by adopting two very hard to place cats from Heartland Humane Society. Smitten and Splash – mother and son – were so painfully shy they could not tolerate the chaos of PetsMart or find the courage to show their true nature to visiting potential families. So they sat (in a wonderful foster home) for fourteen months, until I brought them home.
Almost a year later, and with much patience and love, they are loving pets I am so glad joined the family.
And then the craving returned.
I ignored it until my son’s girlfriend arrived on the doorstep bearing two of the cutest, scared, most dehydrated little beagle mix puppies that someone thought so little of they dumped on the side of a busy road in the dark of night.
After nursing them through the first few hours, I rushed to PetsMart on a Saturday (my first mistake!) and asked my favorite rescue group for help. Before I knew it, the former foster mom of Smitten and Splash was vouching for me as a foster parent and I was filling out an application to become a foster home.
I really didn’t think I had it in me. After six weeks, crate training, potty training, vaccinations and a neuter and spay, Colt and Kimber were ready for adoption. My heart was already breaking. They were, undoubtedly, my dogs. They slept in bed with me, went everywhere with me and, for almost two months, were the center of the household. Tons of people applied to adopt them. I interviewed families in my home, watching their interactions carefully, listening to my gut instinct and lamenting over whether or not I was doing the right thing.
But when Colt’s new people walked in the door, the conflict eased and my grip on him lessened a bit. Even the adult children showed up to meet Colt. They were grieving the recent loss of their dog. I could feel their reluctance to willingly open themselves up to more heartbreak pressing against their desire for the love and joy a pet brings. It was easy to picture Colt sitting at the feet of his new human as he worked from home all day, wrestling with the kids when they came to visit and walking the neighborhood with his new person daily.
I did it. I let him go. Colt’s sister, Kimber, nursed me through the grieving.
And then, her people walked through the door. This time, I was certain I couldn’t find the strength; that my fostering days were over. I told myself this young family wasn’t ready for the responsibilities of a pet. I pretended I didn’t care that their daughter cried with joy at the mere thought of taking her home. I didn’t want to like Mom and Dad, although it was so easy to do I couldn’t duck the read. And then their two year old little boy wrapped his arms gently around Kimber as he gave her a treat and . . .
I saw the two of them growing up together: A boy and his dog. He would never remember not having her and she would have him her entire life. She would always be his first dog and he would always be her boy.
Because of that, I could let her go too. I did, and then grieved all over again, this time in a house that, despite five cats, felt entirely hollow in the absence of Colt and Kimber.
The next morning, I returned from PetsMart adoptions with Jasmine,our next foster puppy. Ginger and Ace, a cat and kitten left behind when their family moved away, joined us the next week. This week, Jasmine’s littermate, Jake, took up residence here.
The house is busy and crazy. The work is endless. The cold, wet noses are awesome. I love every minute of it. Colt and Kimber brought to me my life’s passion. They rescued me.
And, because of Colt and Kimber, Jasmine, Jake, Ginger, Ace and the many who will come after them, are Almost Home.