The hurt I will feel when they leave is far smaller than the hurts Dolly and Dude suffered that caused them to come in to care in the first place.
I'm trying to keep a smile on my face and love them right through all of this. Despite the fact my eyes well up every time their arms wrap around my neck and they say, "Mommy, I love you." It's my job to stay strong. I can't really prepare them for next week. They are too little to understand. I just keep reminding them that they are surrounded by people that love them. Especially their "Grandma in D***".
I'm thankful that my parents came to visit a couple weeks ago. Before their visit my parents were simply a photo on our bookshelf. We talked about these people because Dolly and Dude were curious. They like to know people's names. So we talked about Granny and Papa even though they had never met Granny and Papa.
Then Granny and Papa came! They became real people to Dolly and Dude. And Dolly and Dude fell in love with Granny and Papa. The picture of strangers became people they knew – people who loved them.
I'm hoping that the same thing will happen with their Grandma in D***. To the best of my knowledge, Dolly and Dude have never met their grandma. To them, she is little more than the picture CPS was able to give me. But I keep talking with the cherubs about their grandma and how much she loves them. On Monday this "stranger" will become a real person to them. I'm hoping that my preparation will ease their fears.