“Mommy! I need to ask you something!” My 5-year-old biological son, Ryan, runs over to me in the kitchen and furiously motions for me to lean over so he can whisper in my ear.
I already know what he is going to say; the exaggerated stage whisper gives him away every time. He wants to talk about the coming fourth birthday of my foster son, BlueJay, who may as well be Ryan’s shadow for the way he runs directly behind him in this moment (and always).
Since the day after Ryan’s birthday in September, he has wanted to plan BlueJay’s party. But as the foster parent of a child with a future in limbo, I was hesitant to verbally commit to plans for a birthday that was several weeks away. I never want to make a promise I can’t keep, so I spent weeks saying things like: “It’s a little too soon to make plans. Let’s wait a bit.”