I was terrified when you first stepped through my front door. You were terrified at the hand the world had dealt you. But somehow we danced the mother, daughter dance through the moments you called our home your safe place. You taught me grace, the gentle pursuit of being still among the ones I love. You taught me to rest in the unknown because there is One who knows. You changed my life.
You had my heart, and there were moments I didn't think I would ever breathe without you. You taught me to live with open hands. If our journey of foster care had ended with your adoption, we would have missed so many new mercies ordained by Him. Because of your short time with us, the door was opened to our the families becoming grafted by His grace. Each morning I place my hand on your picture and beg God to pursue your heart even now.
There are shadows in your heart that haunt me. Some nights, I wake in the night, silently weeping for the burdens I know you refuse to share, the corners you deny anyone entrance to. You have taught me that He holds us. I remember the moment I opened to door to you. I was so scared that we wouldn't have the endurance to travel the long road that lay ahead. He stilled my soul and whispered that He knew your future before I ever knew your name. You are written on His hands. Don't settle for knowing less. You are beautiful, just as you were made for Beauty. I failed in speaking that to you. Satan heckles my regrets of our time together over me at times, the moments I failed to pursue you. But I know, that together you and I wrote a story that tells the world Grace is for the imperfect and takes us to the throne of the One who gave His perfection for us.
There are moments you call me Mommy and moments you scream Ms. Catie. When you came to visit a few weeks ago, I savored our cuddles into the late night. I would like to say you taught me patience :) But it's deeper than that. You taught me to remember that I am a princess and my Father is the King of Kings, and in the precious chances I still am able to look into your eyes, I seek to whisper that into your soul, so that you never forget. You were made for glory. Don't listen to less.
Writing your name still causes tears to spring to my eyes. You taught me the reality that He is the Author of our stories. I wanted to write yours, and there would have been so many blaring gaps. Through His hands, I laid you on the altar of my soul, and beauty sprang from sorrow. There will be a day when you no longer say Mama and reach for me when you see me. I will one day be known as the strange woman who always remembers your birthday and cries every time you see her. Son of my heart, you have a heritage of faith. The name of Jesus has been whispered over you a trillion times. Let it be engraven on your heart as you grow. There's not a day that goes by, that I do not put my handprint in yours and once again feel the delight of your presence in our home.
You walked through the door, took my hand and said, Mommy. And in that second, your blond, bouncy curls captured my heart. And once again I am learning the long journey of sacrifice as I love you fully, hold you fully, and will one day grieve you fully. You are worth that and so much more. As I look at you I'm constantly reminded that our only place of refuge can be in Him. I see you chase after every place that seems to bring contentment, and sorrow wells within my soul because I know your young heart has never known rest. And so in the daily moments where I take your hands, I pray for a few more days for us to learn this truth together.
You're told from every angle that you will never measure up. Yet, each day you choose to face the truths you fear most. I want to be like you one day. You are teaching me to hope when there seems to be no hope as you believe in the ones who have failed you most. I'm still discovering the delights of your soul, but I love you. Don't ever stop fighting where you feel called to fight. He ordains our callings, not the world. Be bold in the beauty He is writing through you.
You greatest longing is to please, and that longing took you to the gates of Hell on earth. Now, you live with the nightmares. I wake some mornings in rage at the shadows that follow you. Yet, you do not let your story define you. You're fighting to discover what role it will play in your life. It is an honor to call you daughter for this season. It's my joy to discover the intricacies that thrill and sadden you. Your path of learning to forgive greatly is calling my heart to explore depths of forgiveness I did not know before. You are a warrior.
You're gonna bring down the house. But truthfully, you are helping me discover the joy of laughing again, as you giggle at every dadgum thing in your life. It's your escape and your expression of delight. I'm falling in love with it. I'm humbled to be the the one helping you learn to attach. From walking in my home refusing to be held or touched, to now allowing us to hold your hand, rub your back, or stroke your hair, you're re-learning you were made to be loved deeply. Aren't there moments when we all forget that truth?
You hold my heart. From the first, I love you, you speak in the morning, to the 1,000th you utter as I tuck you in, you make my heart flutter. The Father knew the encouragement I needed when He gave me you. Our prayer for you has always been that you would have a courageous heart, as you remember that you were designed to be a warrior for Christ. The fact that I am the chosen mommy to walk that journey of discovery with you, blows me away. You have my heart.
We're too much alike for our own good. You are me in ultra-concentrated form, shaken and spewing. Don't you love that God what He knew was doing when He made us? Every child that comes through our home finds safety and confidence in you. You're able to relate to any and everyone. You gently pursue, and pull them from their stories as you make them laugh until they cry. My prayer for you is that you would have a quiet heart before the One who pursues you. Isn't that a prayer for all of us? Having you as my son is more like hacking me into the image of Jesus, rather than molding me, but I wouldn't want it any other way.
The one who made me a mother. The one who first babbled that name to me, and defined me before I remotely knew what the definition of my future would be. Son, I am so proud to see the man of God you are growing into. Your boldness in who you are in Christ, silences me. Walk humbly before your God. Thank you for being my right hand during the day. Thank you for allowing your heart to break for the broken. Thank you for walking this journey of discomfort with me. I wouldn't want it any other way.
And to the 30 who've stayed for days or years,
You've taught me that this journey of motherhood is not about a name or a title....
It's not even about my happiness.
It's about being formed into the image of my Savior as we walk this life together, no matter how long or short the time is. For you were never mine. You were placed in my hands for a season, and your days with me have been numbered by the One who made you.
And we are learning together the reality, that He is able to do immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine.
I love you all with every breath I take,