Finally being licensed is a little crazy. Like we look at pictures on our computer screens and think, “Could we be their parents?” and then we send our home study into the great void and hope that it will cough a “Yes” back up at some point. I don’t know how many we’ve sent in so far but just the idea that you’re out there and we’re that much closer to having you in our arms is so exciting, I can barely stand it.
We went and visited Nana and Pops this weekend in Abilene (Aunt Leah and Uncle Tyler were there too). Usually, when I go back to Abilene, I just want to sit in the hot tub and take naps. Even though I’m 28 and I have my own house, there’s something about being “home” that makes me so relaxed, I just want to curl up in it like a blanket and never leave. My parent’s house is my “home base”.
But, this weekend, I escaped from my coccoon, and your dad and I spent several hours with one of my oldest friends, Andrea, and her son, baby Jackson. Baby Jackson doesn’t really know us that well so when we came into the house, he clung to his mama. He knew she was safe, but he wasn’t so sure about us. But Alex and I are good at getting kids to come out of their shells and we stacked towers of blocks that we knew Jackson couldn’t resist pushing over.
Eventually, he got brave enough and he came to baby-punch the tower but, then he realized he was really close to us and he ran back to Andrea and collapsed in her lap.
We stayed for about 2 hours and, while he definitely spent longer and longer away from her, he would check back in with her (via a body slam) every few minutes. You could see Jackson getting more independent, then unsure, and needing to return to his “home base” for reassurance that everything was okay.
It’s highly probably that you, my dear sweet one(s), might have never had a safe “home base” to return to. After all, you would learn pretty quickly that “home base” isn’t really safe, if the person that is supposed to be your “home base” hurts you or ignores you when you need help. It’s hard to have a “home base” when adults shuffle in and out of your life so frequently. At some point, you might have given up on trying to find a “home base” at all and so you just spin around in oblivion, scared and confused but too afraid and too hurt to land anywhere.
We want to be your “home base”.
It might take years. We know that we aren’t starting to build trust from ground zero; we have to fill in the crater before we can even get to level ground. After all, we are adults (that look like all the other adults in your life) and you came to us from a system that, whether it meant to or not, probably traumatized you.
But we are hoping that by consistently meeting your needs and being there for you, day in and day out, that you will begin to recognize us as “home base”. We want you to have the confidence and gumption to go out and punch the metaphorical block towers that exist in the world, but we also want you to know that you can always, ALWAYS, come check back in with us when you need reassurance that everything is going to be okay (via a non-metaphorical body slam, if you like).
I’ve been looking into lullabies that I want to sing to you, but I can only think about it for about 5 minutes at a time, because if I go any longer, then I start ugly-crying. If I will ever actually be able to sing the lullabies that I’ve discovered to you without crying….well, the jury’s still out.
I’m having to research lullabies because I’m terrible with lyrics and the only one I know is
Just in case you’re wondering, that mockingbird’s not singing because it got out of the paper bag that the pet store put it in and flew down the hallway, crashed into the bedroom window, and got a concussion (a story for another time). Needless to say, I will not be buying you a mockingbird and who gives a baby a diamond ring, anyway?
The lullaby front runner is “Home” by Philip Phillips. Before you roll your eyes and tell me that it’s overplayed and you’re sick to death of it, remember that you’re a kid and kids love to listen to songs ad nauseam. Also, the lyrics are amazing. In fact, I’ve already written about it but it’s apropos for this post (again) because I desperately hope that I can make this place your “home base”.
Hold on, to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave is stringing us along
Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m gonna make this place your home
Cue the tears.
Love you forever,
Your (hopefully) future “home base”