That is what Baby Brother said to me this morning, on the way to daycare. Usually if I tell him I love him he nods and says "Uh huh" without saying it back. But today he did say it and then smiled a big proud smile. In fact, he was so proud of himself he said it again, followed by "I love you, Mommy A.," his birth mom's name.
I remember one day, a month or so after the kids came to live with me
last February. Baby Brother was standing looking up at a framed photo of
his mom on the wall in his room. He was staring at it very thoughtfully
for quite awhile. Since it had been almost four months since he'd seen her I asked him if he knew who the person in the picture
was. He nodded very somberly and whispered "Mommy."
I know being away from mom is hard for all the kids, but I feel saddest for Baby Brother. At least his sisters have memories of life before foster care. He really doesn't, although I do think he remembers the removal and the trauma of being separated from his sisters. The girls can at least make some sort of sense of what happened, and understand where they are and who I am in relationship to themselves and their family. Baby Brother can't. He doesn't have the faintest idea why one day he was suddenly taken away from his mommy, or why he bounced through two more homes before he got to me. On some level, I think he's always worried it could happen again.
All the kids went to go visit mom today. When I reminded Baby Brother about the visit this morning he looked anxious, then said he couldn't go because he would be going to sleep. He loves his visits with mom, but they always seem to stir up his memories of the removal and the fear that he might suddenly be whisked away to a new home. I reassured him that I would be waiting for him like usual after the visit and recited all the different steps in the day's routine, right from breakfast all the way to me picking him up at school after his visit. By the time we got in the car he was a happy camper again and turned my heart to mush telling me he loved me, and his other mommy, too.