Tonight, Mena is spending the night somewhere else. So is Cassandra, but she's done this several times, and she's older. This will be Mena's first time in the over five months that she has been with us. They are going to spend the night with their siblings at their foster home. It is a great opportunity, because the family is interested in adopting all four of them and it gives the girls time to get to know them. But there have definitely been mixed feelings about Mena being away. Not being taken care of by me, or Brian, or my mom, or anyone really familiar.
This of course has led me to think about the time when they leave. This is, I'm sure, just a fraction of what I will feel when they go. After being their parents for - who knows how long at that point - trusting someone else to care for them completely. To know that Mena won't eat green beans unless they're warm, but not hot. That when Cassandra says see (si) she really means 'if'. That Mena always cries at night, but that if you go back in the room you'll just make it worse. I'm sure that their adoptive parents will figure all of this out, but it is still difficult. It is the transition for the girls, the time it will take for the new family to know these special things about them, that makes my heart cringe.
The worst thing, though, that really brings me to tears, is the thought of Mena thinking I have left her. It makes me nervous about this weekend, and makes me hurt for when they leave. We can explain the move to Cassandra, and she will understand enough to know that we love her and always will. There is no way to tell Mena. I will be there one day, and the next she will be somewhere new, and there will be no way to explain to her that it is because I love her that she is going. It breaks my heart.
However, as I think about all of this, it is a wonderful reminder that these children are not mine. Not in the sense that I am not their biological parent, or in the sense that fostering is temporary. These children are not mine, or their parents', or their adoptive family's - they are God's. And I will let go with the knowledge that He has them in palm of His hand. Only He holds their future. In my knowledge of Him, I will trust that there is no greater security.