Of a lost child

16 Aug

I had a correspondent for a year or two around 2010. She broke off with me suddenly, for reasons I did not understand, as happens sometimes on the Internet.

She spent a great deal of time talking about a child she’d fostered for roughly three years, until he was around six; an abused child she was trying to adopt, and who was precipitously taken back by the foster care system, sent back to yet other family members, and then eventually placed, without her knowledge, with a couple who lived near her, who then instituted adoption proceedings.

 She ran across the boy in a park, on an outing with his new parents.

She wrote me volumes about her relationship with this child. And one thing she wrote was that when they’d go out driving, if they ever saw a dead bird or other small animal killed in the road, she would stop the car and they would go out and move the carcass respectfully off to the side of the road. Because nobody should just be left there like that, to be driven over and over again.

Her narrative was full of stuff like that. And it was just the saddest story. She was waiting for him to come back. She kept his bedroom up. She wrote me agonizing about how she should decide when to repurpose his bedroom. 

And finally I managed to get across to her that she was his main person during some crucial years and that she would always be part of him. Because it really did sound like she knew what the hell she was doing. Dealing with his trauma from being knocked around by his father. Badly knocked around. Maybe brain damage level. 

But a good fit, and a powerful relationship. Not something to be washed away like so much surface foam, and that was what she needed to hear. And she told me that, that I had really helped her there. 

I think about her from time to time. I hope she’s taken her calling to less grievous destinations. I thank her for sharing her story with me.

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