I got to the courthouse, and they were running a few minutes late (no shocker there... those things are NEVER on time), so I sat in the hallway outside of the courtroom and waited for Monkey's case to be called. I noticed his parents a few rows down, but didn't say anything. They were busy talking to one of their attorneys. After a couple of minutes though, Monkey's dad must have pointed me out to his mom because she got up and walked towards me.
She looked great! It is so obvious that she is working hard to get her life back under control. She had a big smile and as I stood up, she gave me another huge hug. And I was completely floored when she started to talk to me. The first thing said to me was that she was sorry for her English the first time we had met. She said that she has been working hard on her English lately though. The story she told me was adorable, and made me like her even more than I already did.
But the thing that has stayed with me the most after two and a half weeks has got to be Monkey's mom telling me almost apologetically, "I know how much you love him, and how much you are going to miss him when he leaves. But we need him..." It is very rare to have bio parents even acknowledge that I have been raising their child, let alone thank me or acknowledge that I love them and that they know I will be hurting and miss them when they leave. I think it just shows how caring his mom is... The fact that she is genuinely concerned for my feelings in all of this...
As much as I love my baby boy, I really think I am okay when it comes to him going home to his mom and dad. They have worked so hard and have come so far, and the love that they have for Monkey is apparent in everything they do now. As much as it's going to kill me to lose another piece of my heart when he leaves, I know that I have been exactly what he and his parents have needed in order for them to be a happy, functioning family. My prayer is that the transition is a slow and easy one, and that his parents continue to be the best parents they can be for him. I really do believe that this family will be one of the success stories. Everything I've seen with them over the past several months leads me to believe that this will work out exactly as it should. Even if it breaks my heart into a million pieces before it's mended again... Because it will be mended again... And I'll get to be there for another baby who needs me just as much as Monkey (and all of my others) did when they first came through my door.