Our precious Big D is gone. After living life together for seventeen months, gone.

Most days it feels surreal. I wonder if he’s really gone. Or if he was ever really here. Knowing the truth, but feeling a variation of it.

I feel like it can’t be true because I’m not yet devastated. And every other time I’ve said goodbye to a foster child, it’s been devastating.

I miss Big D every day. I miss him asking if we could stop at the corner store on the way to school. I miss finding his grin and showing him mine when we saw each other at school pick-up. I miss cooking, dancing, singing, snuggling, teasing, laughing together. I always will.

He was my son. But he was never really mine.

And he really isn’t now.

Foster care isn’t about getting kids for my family, for me. It’s about giving kids a family. Giving kids me. For as long as they need.

And Big D doesn’t anymore. He’s safe with his dad. Cooking, dancing, singing, snuggling teasing, laughing with his family.

He’s there. With them. Home.

That’s the point. And I’m finally starting to get it.

Getting it doesn’t mean the missing goes away. Some days are and will be harder and heavier than others. All the feelings are still real and valid and okay.

For me, it simply means that the missing carries hope.