Dear Baby Daniel,
When Stephanie and I decided to re-enter foster care, we didn’t know that we would be leaving Colorado at the end of the year, or that a global pandemic was about to start. Though we questioned our decision, our support worker said there’s always a need and they’d take any time we offered. And so, prayerfully, we plunged right in.
We braced for this day from the moment you entered our home 7 months ago. We knew it would take a miracle for us to adopt you. As well as anyone, we know that the system doesn’t work that way.
And so, truth be told, I held back emotionally. Unlike with Gavin, I never referred to myself as ‘dada.’ Though I continually prepared myself for today, I wasn’t successful. I grew to love you, and I’m sad we’ll be moving to California without you.
But the loss Stephanie and I feel is dwarfed by what we feel on behalf of your Gavin and Mira. They adore you to the depths of their little hearts and will forever consider you their baby brother. We dread the coming weeks because we know we’ll have to repeatedly explain why you aren’t with us. Daniel: Gavin and Mira will always be your bhaiyya and didi.*
We’re blessed, however, that you’re moving to a loving foster family who will allow you to keep in contact with them. And so I know we will all meet again soon.
If the past is any guide, I know what will happen that day. Mira will squeal your name at the top of her voice, tackle you with ferocious love and start planting kisses on you. In the process she will surely dislocate one of your hips and restrict blood-flow to at least three of your vital organs.
Stephanie and I will look in horror, yell at her to get off you, and run to save you from impending doom. Gavin will amble up, look at you with pure love and joy, and simply say: “Hi Baby Daniel.”
Until we meet again my friend. Until we meet again.
Praj, Stephanie, Bhaiyaa and Didi
* We referred to our children as bhaiyya and didi, the Hindi words for older brother and sister.