The phone rang and there she was - my niece, Charlie Marie. I hadn't spoken with her for at least two years. But her mother (my former sister-in-law) was visiting her brother (my ex-husband) and my son (who is visiting his Dad) called to let me hear her voice.
Charlie Marie lived with us when she was a little baby. There had been some problems and I took her in so that she would not have to be in foster care. At the time that I took her, I had to accept that I could not and would not know how long she would be with me. It might be six months or six years or the rest of her life. I thought of her as a daughter. She called me Mommy.
When the time came for her to return to her family, I handled it very well. We had some transition visits so she could get used to being around her family again. Then she went permanently. Had I not been distracted by a cross-country move, I probably would have fallen apart! Giving up a child - even when you know ahead of time that you might have to - is devastating. But it was the right thing for her and for her family.
That was 2002. Now in 2008 here she was on the phone. She is so smart and sweet. I am reminded once again what a blessing she was to my life while I had her! And I am so pleased that her family is together and happy!