We gathered the children around the table and through baby babble, toddler chatter, and munching goldfish, his social worker told him that it had finally been decided. His mother was not able to care for him (“yeah,” he said, “I didn’t have a toothbrush there”) and he would stay with us forever.
He was stoic and serious and avoided eye contact, but asked her to say it again. I didn’t necessarily expect his reaction, but I wasn’t surprised by it either. So much to process. We talked about it for a while longer. Talked about big feelings and missing mom. We read one of his adoption books together.
Then, as if a lightbulb went off, he said:
“I’m staying here forever?! Forever and ever! And I get a new last name!!”
He is seriously excited about this new last name business.
Then the night carried on in an oddly normal way. We finished up our visit with the social worker and met up with my dad for a church fundraiser dinner. Saw friends, ate good food, laughed and enjoyed each other’s company until it was time to head home.
I put my sleepy boy to bed – sang a song, rubbed his back, and kissed his head. As I was getting up to leave the room he let out a sigh and said,
“This was the best day ever.”