You may want to take a moment and read and/or review a post we wrote a week ago Sunday called, The Takeaway, which looked ahead to the time we would pick up our baby and take him from those he believes to be his family.
We’ve had Ethan now for about 6.5 hours. He’s sleeping now, and that’s a good thing. Here’s what the past 6.5 hours have looked like in a nutshell …
Yesterday, I posted a photo/post called 1,000 Words. For the first hour and a half tonight, two words dominated: absolutely brutal. Leaving SWS with the baby and loading him into a van wasn’t too bad. His foster mother shed some tears, but it was a very smooth hand-off. We could tell Ethan was wondering what was going on, though.
I took a photo of Joleen holding Ethan in the van. Seconds later, reality hit Ethan. He was being taken from his home. He cried and screamed at the top of his lungs for the next hour and a half. He climbed toward the window as if he wanted out. He cried/screamed so much that his side windows became completed fogged up.
I know, you’re all thinking, “It was only an hour and a half. That’s not too long!” Yeah, but that hour and a half felt like an eternity. It was very painful.
We spent the evening with new friends from The Holy Flames Methodist Church (more on that in the next post). Around 6:30 pm, Ethan calmed down and began to warm up to us. He was also around a lot of people tonight who loved him and supported us during this difficult time.
It was an exhausting night — for us and for him. In fact, he fell asleep around 8:30 pm at our small group gathering in someone’s home (he normally goes to sleep between 10:00 and 11:00 pm). However, when we got back to our room and put him in the crib, he woke up and started crying and screaming again. Fortunately, this time, it didn’t last too long, and he simply cried himself to sleep.
We expect that when he wakes up in a few hours to be another difficult time. But we hope it gets better over time.
We believe it will be a good thing that we got him today instead of on the way to the airport. I can’t imagine going through that in and airport and on an airplane. As Ethan cried/screamed, I kept thinking, “There’s gotta be a better way to do this.” I dunno, maybe there isn’t. But, man, that was brutal!
We’re only a few hours into this. We know it will get better with time. We just don’t know what the time line will be. We just can’t imagine the fear, the trauma, and grief Ethan must be experiencing in the early hours of this transition!