When the email arrived, Tim came away from his computer with such a sad face that I thought someone had died.
I was at the table writing holiday cards while festive music played softly in the background. Shamus, the Newf, was romping in the snow and Emmett, our foster of six months, was resting in his bed by the fire.
“Somebody is interested in Emmett,” Tim said.
I felt sick.
Tim sat down.
We wrote more cards. We took in the holiday scene, the romance of it. We saw our boy so content in the other room. We each shed a few tears while the other wasn’t looking.
Having asked Tim in early December if an adoption contract was in our holiday future (Emmett was the only present I wanted), Tim said he prefers to perpetually foster. I didn’t push the issue, promising to never back Tim into a corner the way I did to keep Bill, the first foster I couldn’t let go. While I want to make this a decision together at the right time, getting the first bite of interest for Emmett meant a real conversation was in order.
I know Emmett could make a great pet for the right person but, after talking it through, Tim and I are also sure that Emmett’s progress would revert in the face of change. We watched Emmett go back to square one for a full five days after spending just one week at the kennel. How will a new situation effect his sense of security? I also worry that Emmett’s nervous antics (he ate another cushion today) will incite anger with somebody new. The truth is, sometimes we get angry and we’re pretty darn tolerant. So yes, there are many questions about whether Emmett is adoptable yet or whether we can emotionally let him go.
The debate has not been settled for nearly a month, in part because the inquiring family never asked after Emmett again. Still, this is the moment of truth. As I see it, we have 3 options.
- We continue to foster and eventually send Emmett out into the world.
- We make a lifetime commitment to him.
- We ride this out and have the conversation all over again the next time a query arrives.
I’m opting for 2 while Tim opts for 3.
For now, I leave you with this video of what life with Emmett is like. Six months of our fostering experience has been condensed into less than 6 tasty and digestible minutes for your viewing pleasure. (To satiate your appetite for more ridiculousness not caught on camera, visit my previous post, “The Forever Foster?“). Perhaps you, dear reader, can offer some perspective. We’re obviously too in love.