Deep in the recesses of my foster care folder, I found a packing checklist that needs to be completed for Noodle. Although he arrived with just a single onesie, a sleeper, and a blanket (neither item of clothing actually fit him), we are charged with providing him an entire wardrobe and baby supply kit for him to take with him to his aunt and uncle's house. (So when you hear that foster families "get paid", it's really more like reimbursement.) The list is providing some catharsis for me, and it's a great way to feel like we can continue to provide for him materially even after he leaves us.
I am going to make the Nugget a photo book of him and Noodle as well, and I am brainstorming a "goodbye ceremony" suggested by the counselor at his preschool. I will be scheduling at least a couple counseling sessions for the Nugget to help him work through his emotions after the move. I am going to ask Noodle's aunt and uncle if they'd be willing to exchange contact information post-placement so that we can send him care packages and if we're very lucky, receive photos and updates from their end.
So it looks as if we accomplished our goal - to keep Noodle safe and loved while he needed us. Undecided whether we will continue to foster, I think at least a good break will be in order, but Hubby and I agreed it has been a wonderful positive experience for our family. Saying goodbye will surely be bittersweet, but it will be a happy