“It’s okay to miss us”

Woman pens essay on painful farewell to her foster son

(OLIVER LANG/AFP/Getty Images)

The foster system can often be unpredictable, but for Meghan Moravcik Walbert, its abruptness gave her little time to prepare to say goodbye to the son she has parented for nearly a year and was looking forward to adopting. Moravcik Walbert, her husband, and their biological 5-year-old son welcomed the 4-year-old foster child into their lives and family, she wrote in a moving essay in The New York Times.

“Eleven months’ worth of memories run on a loop in my mind, starting with the sounds of the first evening we met him last April: His boisterous laugh, the way he pounded out music on a piano keyboard, the wheeze from the cold he was battling as he fell asleep next to me on the couch,” she wrote.

The foster agency initially told the family that there was little chance the boy would be reunited with his biological family. And then, just a couple of months later, they told them things had changed, and a reunion would likely happen soon. Relatives who lived in another state had decided to raise the boy and his biological brothers that had been placed in other foster homes, and after a sudden court decision, Moravcik Walbert and her husband had 24 hours to pack up the boy who had lived in their home and send him to a new place, unlikely to ever see him again.

“The sounds from our last night together,” she wrote. “The way he cried that he would miss us and begged us to come with him. The sound of my own voice, which I somehow managed to keep soft and steady even as I wiped the tears from his cheeks and whispered, ‘It’s O.K. to miss us; that only means you know how much we love you.’”

Read the full essay at The New York Times’ Well blog.

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