The weather was perfect.
We met about 10:00 Saturday (April 5) but L was texting Mike the whole way there to see where we were. He and his social worker actually beat us there and so they were waiting at the gate. We told Zach and Sean they had to RUN up to the gate and meet L in person.
It was a great day.
L was a little nervous at first but as things progressed he was able to relax a bit. We even had all three boys ride a camel (one at a time). We rode the train. We took time for a snack. All was good. At one point Mike pulled L to the side and asked him what he thought. L said he was scared that Zach and Sean wouldn't like him and that this wouldn't work. Mike told him "this is not a test you have to pass - you've already done that. This is just a time to get to know each other." With that, L seemed to relax a bit more.
We left the zoo about 1:00 to go to lunch at P.F. Chang's at The Summit. It was about here that L started to get a little more quiet and withdrawn. Our social worker noticed it and mentioned he was beginning to realize the day was nearing an end and we would soon have to go our separate ways.
After lunch we went to a new popsicle place at The Summit called Steel City Pops (thanks Brandy!) It was different and fun and really delicious.
So the whole day ended about 3:30 and we had to send our boy to his home and head to ours. We really enjoyed our time with L, the boys said they really liked him and we think he felt all that. He just is ready for a permanent home with a family and it's difficult to deal with all that emotion.
We are going to see him again this coming Saturday, April 12, when we drive to where he lives and take him to lunch. It will be a short visit but it's hard not to make use of every moment you have until you are together forever.
Mike is picking him up on Good Friday and he will spend that weekend with us.
We have not been able to talk about permanency with him in the past because things have to occur and play out in a certain way. It makes it difficult when we can't tell him "it will be soon..."
Our biggest concern right now is that the foster home where he is currently living will tell DHR that he needs to go ahead and move (before the end of the school year). The transition process can be a bot chaotic for a foster home and there are a lot of reasons this could happen in our case but in reality it should NOT happen. Ever.
We have made contingency plans in case it does happen but it is absolutely not in L's best interest to move before the end of the school year. We want him and will take him whenever, however and wherever but we also want what's best for him.
Please pray to soften the heart of his foster parent, that she will be kind to L, that she will be blind to the chaos this process causes, that she will supportive of the transition, and that she will not even consider asking for him to leave before the end of the school year.
Please pray for us as we spend the next six weeks waiting for the clock to tick and our son to come home.