Monday, September 5, 2016

Foster Baby Milestones - A bittersweet Moment

I love watching babies do all their 'firsts'. The first time that they roll over, smile, sit up, get their first teeth, crawl, say their first word. It is so adorable and so exciting. It's actually kind of embarrassing how excited I get, or is it all parents? It's like we don't know that essentially every other baby on the planet is also able to do the exact same thing at some point in their babyhood. As a foster parent, I not only get to watch my son hit all his milestones, but I get to experience double the excitement with our foster baby.

In the short six weeks that Baby has been here, we have seen him learn how to sit up on his own, learning to crawl, pop two teeth, and now stand up. Every time he does something new I yell for my husband and run for my camera. Of course, I usually miss it! Seeing him accomplish all these firsts makes me so happy. I am so happy that, despite everything going on in his life, he is developing properly and accomplishing all these 'normal' things. I am excited that I get to see them and I am so proud!

But, I am also sad. I am sad that I am the one witnessing these things happen instead of his Mom. I am sad that I'm the one taking videos and pictures instead of her. I am sad that when he grows up and asks about his first steps, his first words, she won't know. Or that her story won't be the true story. I am sad that, despite how badly she wants them back, she isn't doing everything required of her to get them.

I can not imagine missing my babies first anything. I can't imagine saying goodbye to my tiny toothless baby boy one afternoon and then having him show up to visit a few days later with two big white teeth sitting in the front of his mouth. I can't imagine not being the one to cuddle and sooth him through the pain of teething. I can't imagine not being there to experience the pure excitement and overwhelming joy of seeing him grab onto the crib rails and stand up by himself, for the very first time. I can't imagine missing the huge smile that crosses his face when he realizes that he is standing, by himself!

I am lucky to have double the fun watching both babies grow and develop. Each time Baby does something new we get excited, we cheer and congratulate him. It is a happy moment for him and it's exciting for us, but it's sad for Mom. The true definition of bittersweet.

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