There Are Nights When All My Aching Bones Won't Let Me Sleep*
A few nights ago, at the mall, Lana saw a small Asian women with a chin length haircut.
"My foster mom," Lana said to me. "Mom, she looks like my foster mom."
I turned around. The woman didn't look very much like Lana's foster mother, but she about the same size, about the same age, her hair cut was quite similar. If you are only 7 years old, and you haven't seen the woman who raised you for the first four years of your life in a very long time...
I can see how she might find the resemblance.
"I miss my foster mom," Lana said. "I want to see her."
I told her we could write her a letter.
That night, Lana woke up screaming in the middle of the night. She was confused, combative, and probably not really awake.
Two nights ago, we had more of the same. We were putting together a photo album to send to her foster mother. She was picking through the photos, making sure to send the ones she thought were really important.
We had a fight because I wanted her to put the photo album down and get on her pjs and brush her teeth. She wanted to finish choosing the pictures. There was some mild crying.
But at 12:30 there was hysterical crying, and more confusion and distress.
I don't know how to take away the wounds that are deep within Lana's heart.
I don't know how a little girl is supposed to understand that someone loved her enough to keep her for four years, and then loved her enough to hand her to Husband and I.
I only know that in the last three years I have grown to love this child fiercely. I want her to know that she is loved beyond measure. I don't want her heart to ache, but I know that I grieve, to this day, I grieve, for people I loved who are lost to me.
And even though her foster mom is not dead, and even though we send photos and occasionally an email - the loss of her foster mother probably feels as if her foster mother is dead. And in the darkest hours of the night, in the deepest recesses of her unconscious mind...she grieves. And I ache.
*Crash Test Dummies, Ghost That Haunt Me Now