Well, most of you are probably too young to remember that song (the one in my title here). For those of you who are old enough... Well, you know what it means.
Last Thursday night my foster son moved out. He’s almost 22 years old now and in college. He first came to our home when he was 16, so he’s been part of the family for nearly six years. He lived in our home for longer than he’d lived any other place in his life.
If he’d moved out just because he was older now and wanted to go out and be independent – well, I would have argued with him that it would be better to finish school first, but I would have respected his decision. I’ve had other kids grow up and move out, and they’re all still part of the family. This was a different kind of situation, though. A whole new experience for me, frankly. He moved out because – according to him – he simply “doesn’t want a family” and doesn’t want me to be his mom anymore. Not because I’ve done him wrong in any way, and not because this family has been anything but good to him, but just… Well, frankly, none of his explanations made any sense. Not to me, not to the other kids in the house, not to any of my older kids who have moved out. So, I have to say that honestly I don’t know why he really left.
I am stunned and hurt, as I was closer to this young man than I’ve ever been to any of my other kids. We had a history together going back to days when he was a drug-addicted teenage high school drop-out. I worked harder and more intensely with him than I’ve ever had to with any other kid, and we had a bond – at least I thought we did – that was very special. As recently as four weeks ago he was telling me how I’d had more influence on his life than any other person, how much respect he had for me, and how I was his best friend in the world. Last week he told me that I didn’t matter to him anymore – it was nothing personal, but he’d simply “changed his mind” about wanting to be any part of a family.
This is going to be a short post because I’m still processing these recent events in my mind, and for now I don’t even know what to say about it all. My head is spinning. I’m both hurt by what he’s done and said and also worried about his well-being. I’ll write more later, after I’ve had some time to think.
For now, I am mostly just sad. Sad and just processing, trying to wrap my mind around this. I don’t know what else I can say. L