We are back in St. Louis, with much more limited computer access (but thank the Lord texting is working again!) but I know you may wonder how the goodbye visit went.
The boys had a good morning together, but around an hour before we were to leave it was if they ran out of things to say to each other. A smack, a brief wrestle but other than that very loud silence. I sent them to swim to occupy an hour, they returned in 10 minutes.
We drive to L's house. I tell Greg we can take as long as he likes, but as soon as he gives the word we will go.
We arrive. Greg doesn't want to hand out the good-bye gifts we had made (memory shadow box for mother, some framed pictures etc) and asks me to. The girls are sad.
We sit in silence on the couch for ten minutes AT MOST. Greg says "I want to go". Lisa has only briefly made an appearance since our arrival. I find her sitting weeping on her bed. I ask her to come out and say goodbye.
Greg tries to bolt for the car. These suffocating hugs and tears are REALLY getting to him. He is acting almost giddy. Giggly, smiley and definitely heading for the car. I call him back. Make him say goodbye.
They hug him, tell him they love him. He says nothing. They hug me. Tell me they love me, I say the same. I remind them that we are only a phone call away. I wonder if NOW they will make an effort to get to know Greg. 8 years of begging for contact and I hope now they will try. It will make all the difference to Greg.
I hug the girls. We drive away.
We are both hungry but I ask Greg if he wants to stop for lunch now, he is adamant. NO! He wants out of this town. So we hit the highway.
The light mood ends. He spends the next half hour in silence. I talk to him. Tell him that whatever he is feeling it is normal. That nothing he says can surprise me or hurt me.
He starts to talk about cultural issues. Why does brother have a different pair of Air Jordans for every day we are there? How come they send the kids to the community center to eat every day? He theorizes that in his opinion the drinking age should be raised to 23 to encourage troubled youth to go to college. I make SURE he didnt tell his brother we would adopt him.
We go for lunch. I ask Greg if he is ready to go home. Yes he is. This is the kid who told me that he is never homesick, always wants to vacation. Today he is missing his dad. Missing his brothers and missing his home. He wants to talk about the weather there. What will we do when get home. Could we just go home today?
Tonight, we hang out with Aunty D and Uncle B. Foster parents once, family now. Tomorrow, the Arch and then a foster family reunion BBQ.
Sunday morning, we meet with Sr's grandmother. The woman who raised him and the woman who called DFS to report that he was abusing her great grandchildren, my sons.
I just want to go home.