It hurts to watch Dude. It just plain hurts!!
When he came to me in June of 2011 he was confused and sad. He cried and he cried. (Especially at bedtime!!)
But then he learned to trust me and we bonded. Because his bio mom dropped out of the picture he almost forgot who she was. When being transported to a visit that CPS managed to put together he literally looked for ME when he got to the office. After all, they told him he was going to go see his mom.
He was so full of affection. He opened up out of his shell. Every single member of his bio family commented over the last year about how different Dude became. He was playful. He talked more. He was such happy little guy.
Then he was taken from me without explanation to him. (I was told that the kids didn't really ask about why they had to leave. I don't honestly know how the respite family processed things with the kids. But really - he couldn't have gotten much of an explanation. And anything he was told couldn't have made much sense.)
54 days later Dude came back to my home.
It's breaking my heart to watch Dude. He's so sad.
No one else would see the sadness. I know this. He's smiling and playing with Bart and TT. He's doing all the "things" he used to do before. But there is no spontaneous affection. In fact, there's no affection for anyone at all. Yes, he'll let me hold him. He'll let me hug him. He'll even let me kiss him. But I can see the pain in his heart.
He doesn't trust me anymore.
And when a three year old doesn't trust their primary care giver - well, that's when bad things happen.
I wish I could fix this. I'm not sure what to do exactly. I'm just winging it.
I keep on hugging him. I keep on kissing him. I keep on telling him that I love him.
I tell them both that I didn't want them to go away. I tell them it made me very sad. (I'm blaming everything on the "judge". It's too complex to explain any other way. This judge figurehead is the person that has been the determiner of their fate since they came into my home over a year ago. So I say I'm sorry the judge said you had to go away this summer.) I tell them both I'm happy they came back. And then, because it's very likely they will be leaving me in less than a month, I remind them that I love them even when I can't see them. I tell them that I'm going to love them FOREVER no matter what.
What else can I do?
Only time will heal this. I just have to pray that eventually Dude will trust adults again. Trust them with his affection. As is usual in Foster Care Land...prayer is pretty much all I've got.