I have to admit, I was kind of a wreck from the day that Monkey left until Sunday night. I was so afraid that his dad was going to change his mind about me keeping him, and I just wouldn't ever see him again. I can't tell you how relieved and happy I was when he showed up a half an hour earlier than I expected him on Sunday night! :-) Now that we have a week down, and a pretty good idea of how we're going to do this, I'm breathing much, much easier, and am finally able to start moving on with everything else in my life.
With Monkey's return home so new, it's made me think about how different my life is when my kiddos enter and leave. It's always an adjustment for any foster family, but for me... For me, the change between being "single, full-time working, foster mama" to "single lady with no kids and a cat" is a drastic one, especially after a long-term placement. I think it would be different if I had a husband and/or other children at home who still needed me, but to go from having a child be my whole world to absolutely nothing... Well, the silence can be deafening. I was sort of wallowing in that silence until last Sunday night when Monkey came back.
Now that I know he's going to be with me half of the week, I'm finally allowing myself to get excited about other things and making plans. I get to be Monkey's "Mama" from Sunday night through Thursday morning, and now I have the time to really spoil my other kiddos on the weekends! We're starting up our "Saturday Crew" again tomorrow, and I know that Heaven, Booger, Banana, Buddy, and Ka-Diva are just as excited about that as I am. :-)
No more wallowing in self-pity or crying in a silent house for me! I'm taking a couple of months off from fostering to look for a three bedroom place so I have more room for more kids. And in the meantime, I'm making the most of my "free" time by spoiling all of my other kids rotten! Somehow, I don't think they'll object. ;-)
So how do the rest of you cope after your children leave your home? Do you do anything special? How do you allow yourselves to grieve? What helps you the most in dealing with the loss?