I always tried to make Jake's visit at the OKDHS office in Logan county, Oklahoma interesting.....memorable for him.
On the day I would meet the last foster mother, Stephanie....the woman who would seal our fate as a family by choosing Jake in her quest to have a family...."God sent" in her words. She became his adopter....well that was the day that Jake made me the picture frame.
I brought 2 picture frames. In one a photo of Jake and in the other a photo of Jake and I together laughing. I also brought glue, sequins, jewels in various shapes and an idea that we would carefully glue them onto the frame.
I wanted Jake to take the photo of he and I so he would have me close to him, even if it was just a photo. I would decorate that frame and Jake would decorate the photo of himself for me to take.
As usual our projects always got a little rushed because we were only given that one hour. When I told Jake he needed to finish up....he grabbed the bottle of glue and made one big loop around the undecorated area and proceeded to slap down jewels all over the frame.
He then reached over to the frame I was working on and added a few more jewels and sequins.
We compared our frames and he decided the frame he decorated was much better than mine......so he wanted the photo of himself! I put each photo in a box to lay flat for the trip home because serious drying time needed to occur before all that glue would dry.
Jake took one last look at the photos, hugged me and said, "You can have the picture of me memaw....and I will take the picture of me and you". I said, "ok I will treasure it forever". He then told me he loved me, only later would I realize it was....for the last time.
It somehow now seems appropriate that I got the frame with all the jewels from Jake that day. He didn't want to give up the sparkly frame with "jools". And yet at the last second he did.
It is my most treasured possession.
It rests on a pillow or two on the side of my bed that he used to sleep on....except for the foot that reached out to touch my back so he could fall asleep each night.
My heart continues to break, and break and break. As I turn off the light and close my eyes I pray for the sweet release that will come when my eyes open no more....for the day that I am no longer aware of the memories I have been left with....of a little boy named Jake....who is with me never again.
Lost to me....because some childless woman needed fulfillment as a mother....with anybody's child....as long as he had blue eyes and blonde hair....a good fit, you know.
It's so strange how the mind captures certain memories.... if I had known that day what she was planning.....I would have easily reached out...at that moment...and snapped her skinny neck. A thousand times since....I have accomplished that very task...in my mind....when I lay on the bed searching for the darkness of sleep....that never comes....seeking solutions and "if I had just"....in this dreamless world where I wander. Alone.
All these thoughts and so many more...of a little boy named Jake...will I ever rest again?...yes...on the sweet day of my death...when my mind will finally stop churning...missing him never stops for me. For any of us...the families of the #TAKEN children. And it never will.
And my mind wanders on in the darkness pondering why?... even though I already know that answer. And the answer to EVERY question about the confiscation of Jake and so many others.
And such are the nights...filled with loss and wanderings of the mind as I search for sleep...thinking about a little guy that I loved so much.