Posted by on Jan 21, 2017 in Uncategorized | 3 comments

He’s sitting on a couch with his brothers, presumably in the home in which he’s now growing up. The photo has a graininess to it that is reminiscent of photos from the 1980s, but this picture is much more recent than that. It’s the first visual I’ve had of my former foster son since I hugged him goodbye.

The boy we nicknamed “BlueJay” lived with us for almost a year when extended family members stepped forward to take custody of him and his two brothers back in March. In the series Foster Parent Diary, I wrote about the experience of loving and losing him. Now, I zoom in and out of this photo, studying every blurry detail. I know he was 4 years old when the photo was taken, the same age he was when he left our home, but he looks so much older. I can see how his legs are longer, his shoulders broader.

His biological mother sent me the picture. She and I have remained in contact since he left. As far as I know, it is the only photo she has received since her son went to live in a home several hours away from her. The updates she gets and passes along to me are sporadic and superficial. I’m not sure even she really knows how he is doing.

Read the rest of this post here, published in the New York Times’ Well Family section.