I have a foster daughter. She has been with me so long. She is being moved. This was always going to happen, it was never going to be forever. But the pain is still all consuming. I can't really put it into words but perhaps it is like having all my molars pulled out while someone stabs me directly and slowly in the heart with a carving knife. Someone else has cut all the ligaments in my legs away.
Meanwhile questions play on my mind as I prepare for her move. A move I know about, that I object to but must accept.
What will she look like? In a year's time. In three years' time. At ten, twelve, fifteen, twenty. Will I recognise her if she comes back to see me as an adult?
Will she still laugh and joke and sing constantly? Or will there be a new quietness?
Will she trust her new people and go to them for comfort? Straight away? Or will she look for me first?
How long before it dawns on her that we are apart now, forever?
What happens to her then? How will she make sense of that?
How does a child lose a mother and then a substitute mother in three years and stay herself?
Are the photos and captions in the album she takes with her a substitute for parental memories and family stories?
What are the new rules and who must she be now?
These are a tiny fraction of my questions now that she is going. The others are too terrifying to write about.