I was so frazzled that I forgot one of her suitcases at home, but the fun didn't really start until we got to the airport an hour early only to find out that all of the parking lots were full.
Outdoor, indoor, all full. The jerk who saw me waiting WITH MY BLINKER ON for a space? Didn't care. Took it.
So, I left that garage and parked my little minivan right next to the outdoor ticket counter and took the risk of the airport police hauling my a** to the pokey. It worked, because we got her her tickets but we still had no place to park the car.
I decided that this was the only time in my life where valet parking was a good idea, so we got in line, which we waited in for 30 minutes and her flight was now leaving in 15 minutes.
Some guy just passed all of the cars waiting in line, got out, handed his keys to the attendant, and ran inside.
The guy in front of me got out of his brand new Saab and yelled, "DID I REALLY JUST FUCKING SEE THAT???" and then we both went up to the podium and told the lady we were next in line. Poor Faith. She said she felt like she was going to throw up. Who licensed us to be foster parents, again?
"Mom, you seem nervous and worried."
"I am, babe, I don't want you to miss your flight."
"Well, have you thought about praying right now?"
So we did. Smart girl.
We ran inside and stopped at the TSA Agent's booth where he became quite terroristically concerned with the spelling of my last name on the unaccompanied minor pass not matching my name on my license.
He took one look at my face and stamped it while saying, "Oh, no big deal."
THANK YOU JESUS. I MEAN TSA AGENT. I MEAN GOVERNMENT BUEAROCRACIES THAT TAKE BILLIONS OF TAX DOLLARS AND DON'T ACTUAL DO ANYTHING.
Next I took off my shoes and we were in the line with the agent who was either super new or just trying to meet the weekly quota of bag checks and zipper wipes.
He took out a random sampling of my purse which was an 8 ounce body spray from Bath and Body Works, ONLY MY FAVORITE SCENT EVER and said, "Ma'am, you know I can't allow you to take this any further." He is looking at me with a questioning gaze as I spy gate number 41 aaaaaaaaand...
watch as they close the door. The tears are very near the surface now.
No one knows a part of my heart is leaving me. All they know is that I am late and I am being obnoxious.
JUST THROW IT AWAY! I yell at him, one shoe on, one shoe still on the conveyor belt.
the lady behind me is not amused and says, "Ma'am. your other shoe."
So, I'm trying to leap over to the gate and say to the TSA guy, "Can you just keep my bag while I put her on the plane?"
but then immediately realize that is exactly the plot of the terrorist in every TNT movie ever made, you know...hand off the bomb and get away before the 'splosion.
The guy looks at me with this questioning look and I say to another TSA agent, "Seriously. You have no iea what I've been through to get to this point. Could you please just walk ten steps and tell those guys at the gate that their last passenger is right here?"
He looks at me and THEN LOOKS AWAY LIKE HE DIDN'T HEAR.
This is when I start yelling at the guy at the gate, just not caring any more. "SHE NEEDS TO GET ON THAT PLANE! HER DAD IS WAITING FOR HER!!!!!!!"
I go up to another employee, still only wearing one shoe, and tell the woman that we have just made it because there is no parking anywhere and she says all annoyed, "Well, see if they'll let you on the plane. I've called her name a bunch of times."
I walk over to the gate, hand the man her ticket, and it hits me.
The whole morning has sucked it out of me and I burst into tears.
I grab her, feel her little heartbeat under her puffy coat, think of all of the time I've had with her and how blessed I've been. See, what most people don't realize about foster care is that sometimes you get to be the one who puts the twinkle back in a child's eye. sometimes you get to be the one who sees them through their first no-accident night in three years.
the tears are flying all over, I am squeezing the stuffing out of her and say, "Thank you, Faithy, for letting me be your mom for the last 14 months. Thank you for letting me love you."
She looks up at me all big-eyed and says all serious, "Mom, are you going to be OK? You need to go straight home and hug Lulu."
and then she was gone.
they shut that door and the plane flew away.
I sat down next to the guy reading the Wall Street Journal, next to the smells of Starbucks, next to the greasy-looking window, next to the spot where I said goodbye to her moments before.
I feel it in my gut, and it's either going to be a major panic attack or the ugly cry.
Ugly Cry wins, and I sit there and cry and cry and cry until I don't have any tears left.
I walk over to Starbucks, order a venti skinny peppermint mocha, wipe my face.
I dig into my purse for my keys and valet parking tab, finding ANOTHER ENTIRE BOTTLE OF BODY SPRAY the TSA Agent totally missed. This is the one with the smell I hate, so that was unfortunate.
I'm doing the facebook break thing but a dear, dear friend posted on Instagram the following:
"You did it right if it hurts."
Who walks around with two entire bottles of body spray tucked in her purse? this girl.
who lets a child call her "mom" and then gives her back? this girl.
who got to see a child transform into strength, happiness and self-assuredness right before her very eyes? this girl.
who hurts? this girl.
"You did it right if it hurts."
True of so many things, huh?
birth, school, childbirth, marriage, adoption, death, exercise, growing spiritually, growing emotionally, losing weight.
You did it right if it hurts:
deep knee bend. labor pain. seeing the pain of remembering the orphange in your adopted child's face. putting down the cupcake and picking up the celery, watching sun slide down hospital walls into night as your father takes his last breaths.
walking her onto a plane, knowing full well you may never see her again this side of heaven.
|crying and shaky hands after door close = blurry picture|
Thank you, Jesus, for letting it hurt.
And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.