You can’t understand these losses unless you live them.

Photo by Guillaume de Germain on Unsplash

I’ve never been someone who has had a lot of support in their life. My own childhood was messy and rocky. While I have an older half-brother, I was raised separately from him, leaving me the only child of a single mother until my mom remarried. I learned quickly how to raise myself.

I was the queen of pretend play. In third grade, I took the tiny bouncy balls that I got from the vending machine at the laundromat and created my own “bouncy ball school” where I’d send the balls to learn how to properly bounce. Some of the…

Photo by Azzedine Rouichi on Unsplash

The night before my 30th birthday, I messaged the person who was my childhood best friend. A decade earlier, at around age 19, I’d deleted her from my Facebook page in a childish attempt at dealing with my emotions (she hadn’t really spoken to me in months and I’d thought it would help me move on). I’m sure that deleting her was exactly what she expected from me at the time.

In high school, I battled anxiety and depression. My friends grew to hate me for it; I wasn’t there for them when they needed me the most. I’ve carried…

Photo by Kristina Tripkovic on Unsplash

24 months ago, a week after Valentine’s Day, we brought our foster daughter home from the hospital. She was a tiny baby who wore preemie clothes and needed to be fed in a specific position that involved a pillow and a great deal of time. I remember her eating her EKG wires while we waited for the discharge paperwork. Hospital-issued Similac samples welcomed us in bright cursive to the sisterhood of motherhood.

I was newly 29, beginning the last year of my 20s. I remember how I rushed to Kohl’s in the midst of everything that was going on and…

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

We had just finished attending my spouse’s grandmother’s funeral when the woman approached. She was wearing a Christian Dior scarf and sat down before us on the ottoman in my mother-in-law’s living room, eyes wide with faux concern. “So, what are you going to do?” she asked in a sing-song voice.

“About what?” I asked, glancing over at my spouse.

“About the baby?” she asked again, her tone high-pitched and frustrating. “I know you don’t have her anymore.”

I had never met this woman in my entire life.

“Well, we still see her…” My spouse started, taking a note from…

There’s a song by one of my favorite singers, Florence Welch, that has the line, “Sometimes, I think it’s getting better, and then it gets much worse.” It pretty accurately describes what it’s been like to live a life without my foster daughter.

I know that I shouldn’t complain. Over the twenty months that we had our foster daughter, we carefully cultivated a positive relationship with her biological family. As such, we’ve been lucky enough to see her regularly. I got to spend my birthday listening to her laugh. My spouse and I got to take her around to see…

Photo by Kristin Brown on Unsplash

My 20-month-old (that’s one-and-a-half-year-old in non-parent speak) foster daughter loves crayons. She especially loves to wander around the house and make her literal mark on non-paper items. I know that I should stop it, but it’s honestly adorable. One day, she happily scribbled all over the top of my Macbook Pro. I was going to wipe it off with a magic eraser (those things really are magic), but I think I’m going to leave it, instead. …

Photo by Seadil Hakim on Unsplash

I am afraid of car washes. So, what is that? It’s certainly ridiculous coming from a woman of 30 years, but a car wash perfectly encompasses all of my fears. I am out of control. I am moving too fast. And, people are darting in and out of my view, which is quickly becoming clouded.

Every Saturday, I meet my foster daughter’s family in the parking lot of a local fast food restaurant for their weekly visit. …

Summer Warner

Summer Warner is a freelance and creative writer.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store