A date that now has significance, and I don't know if it is better knowing, or not knowing.
I'm a mom. But not your usual mom. I'm not making long-term plans and wishes. My precious little bundle is a temporary one, and I have learned to live in the moment. I live for those evening hours where we fall asleep curled into each other, feeling her soft breath on my throat, her tiny arms stretched to reach around each side of my neck. I let myself settle in to share her pre-bed-time nap, shutting out all cares of a messy and cluttered house, and a school semester that is kicking my ass. Just these moments, these are the ones that matter. They confirm what a happy, joyous little bean she is.
She belly laughs, she smiles, she sings in an impossibly high register. She flirts, she watches, her moss-green eyes missing nothing. We giggle and talk back and forth, and most of all, we both sigh as darkness falls, and we are reunited after a day apart, able to snuggle down into each others warmth.
You can only live for the moment, because it is all so tenuous. She doesn't know this, but I do.
She doesn't know the legal craziness her case is tied up in, but I do. I shake my head, I make calls to push and advocate. I clamor to know her guardian ad litem. Words like "permanency planning" make my heart leap with a sudden excitement and hopeful possibility. Until I'm reminded things are just "routine" and have no special meaning in this case. At least not yet.
There is an army of supporters sending out prayers. And two case workers nearly as passionate as I am. They've not seen us in those sleepy evening hours as the world fades away and we just simply are to each other, but they read the effects of it. On her. On me. Even my most feeble cry of frustration and advocacy are echoed by them.
Echoed in a way I didn't expect. "When was birth-mom's last visit?" There is a sudden counting out of months to six. December 6."We will file to terminate parental rights due to abandonment on that date. She will be available to adopt."
It is kind of stunning spoken reality of my greatest hope, something I didn't think possible. So soon. Really, so soon!
Oh, it isn't without a catch, without a chance for it all to evaporate into thin air. One simple phone call from birth-mom, and that goes away, a clock resets, and we are back into limbo. So maybe it was better not knowing, being able to live in just those moments, and not thinking ahead, not worrying, not wondering what is going to happen tomorrow, did anything happen today I don't yet know about.
And you expect me to pay attention to a lecture on heart failure and EKGs.