Around the beginning of May, Trent and I dropped the kids off at Mama Judy's and went on a date. Over pasta, we talked. And talked and talked and talked. About baseball, about golf clubs, about our kids, about how we're doing as parents, about how foster parenting brings us so much joy but sometimes is the hardest thing we've ever done in our whole life.
"I've been thinking about an anniversary gift for you," Trent said at one point. "What if we went to that jewelry store that is the dude's name..."
"Yeah him. And found you a nice necklace chain and looked at their charms that they have? We could find little charms that represent these kids somehow, each individually. Then if they go home, you'd have something to remember them by, and you could add more charms to the necklace for future kids."
I started crying. It was a perfect idea.
For the next few days I traipsed about on the James Avery website, looking at their charms. They're meant for charm bracelets, but I don't wear bracelets and Trent knows that, hence why he suggested a necklace instead. After some searching, we came up with the perfect charms.
For Sister, we chose an aptly named "Remembrance Pendant" with a Blue Zircon jewel. You see, Sister has the biggest, most beautiful blue eyes you've ever seen. In fact, they were the first thing we noticed about her when I pulled the blanket off of her car seat on our sofa that freezing February evening when they first came to us. They weren't bright then, more like dull and sunken...but now? Well, we call her Miss Bright Eyes for a reason.
For Brother, we chose to create a charm to reflect some of his funny habits. From the beginning, he has hollered "Yaaay!" at the most random times, for no apparent reason. We assumed he was just randomly happy with life. Also from the beginning, he has growled... Not in anger, not trying to be mean. He just growls. Trent and I exchanged texts early on when one or the other of us was home alone with the kids, trying to figure out why. "Maybe he's a lion." "No I think he's a pirate." To this day, he growls. He will even growl "la la love you", which is a little spooky, not gonna lie. So, for this happy, growly boy, we had an oval charm engraved with his two funny expressions. The clerk was very confused by our request.
That is the story of my mama necklace. Just two charms so far. Maybe more will get added as time goes by, but these two charms will never leave. These two special children will always be in my heart, no matter what.