Voices of Foster Care: Real Thoughts from a Single Foster Mama

As I walk through this journey of foster care, Jamie and I stand to applaud the single women we know embarking on this journey of middle motherhood. As they share their stories, they each have refused to settle for what the world considers would be the normal next step for them. They've jumped when it has been scary, trusted when it's been dark. When you consider the places you could join the trenches of foster care without actually become a foster parent, here it is. Upfront, right in your face. They are not called to do this alone. Become their "hands of Hur," as when Aaron held Moses' hands during the battle.

Consider these following thoughts from a perfectly real friend who knows that, Obedience is dangerous. Faith is dangerous. Jesus is dangerous. 

Love the ways she doesn't coat with sugar.

Can I be honest? If your answer is no, quit reading now.

So I'm hitting a few milestones this month. One is my one year anniversary of being a foster mommy. I received my first placement, Little Man, on May 25, 2012. It's been a year of many firsts, but this Sunday brings about a first that I am honestly dreading...

What is Mother's Day to someone who is not Mother?

I will wake up this Sunday having spent everyday for 6.5 months caring for two precious little girls. And for me, it will just be another day. Another day of wiping snot. Another day of making sure that sibling rivalry doesn't turn into sibling beat-uppery. Another day of getting two children dressed, ready, hair done, matching shoes on, and out the door in a timely fashion. Another day of worrying about whether or not I have enough money in the bank for the things that they need for school on Monday. Another day of listening to the fits when they go into time-out for disobeying or pinching their sister's arm. Another day of spending two hours driving to take them to a visit with their Mom...

Their Mom...

We will spend a good bit of this week shopping for Mom's gift and making her something special so that the separation between mother and child will not be quite as painful on a day that celebrates mothers. We will spend Sunday afternoon in the car driving to go see Mom and Grandmother and take them out to eat. We will give her gifts and hugs, spend time loving on her, and telling her "Happy Mother's Day." Then I will bring them back home where we will eat a quick dinner, take a quick bath, and then get to bed to start another week of school.

Am I a mother? Yes, I perform the duties of one. Am I Mom? No. 

In my heart, I know that I chose this. I chose to stand in the gap for children when it isn't possible for them to be with their birth families. I chose to be the one that is not, and never will be, the one that they love the most. I chose to be a single mother of children who are not my own and will only be with me for a season of their lives. 

When I was choosing, though, I didn't really think about the moments that make this an awkward and painful place to be. I didn't think about the moment in church where moms are asked to stand up and be recognized, but yet I don't feel like I have the right to stand, because I am not Mom. I didn't think about the little part of my heart that yearns to be the one that is thought of first on Mother's Day. I didn't think about how hard it would be to see all of those stupid Mother's Day commercials that show a daddy helping his child give Mom a gift while knowing that this will not be anywhere on my schedule this Sunday. I didn't think about how hard it would be to see all of my friends with their families without feeling a pang of jealousy. I just didn't think...

To be utterly transparent, I never imagined how much I would dread this day and wish I could hide under a rock for the duration of it. But I'm glad I didn't think. I'm glad those things that cloud my mind with dread right now weren't a part of my thought process when I was making the decisions that needed to be made a year ago. For where would I be without my Little Man and the many lessons he taught me about love and laughter? And where would I be now without my two spunky little girls who seem to teach me more everyday of forgiveness by forgiving me of my many, many shortcomings? 

So to all other non-Mothers out there... Happy Mother's Day, from me to you.

Follow this brave, perfectly honest woman's blog at Fostering Fancies

You want this gal in your corner :)

Because of the One who sees our unseen moments,

1 comment:

  1. This is a strong, powerful post. From a Mother's Heart! Gosh, I have been on BOTH sides of the fence. I was a Foster Child. I have also been a Foster Mother. And, for awhile in my early adult life, I lived in an Adult Foster Home.

    I have a Mother. My "real" Mom. My birth Mom. And, I adore her! Oh, it was not always that way. But, my Jesus Healed my heart and soul. Mom is my best friend. I treasure every phone call. I cannot bear the thought of losing her.

    I have other Moms. I send out many Mothers Day cards each year. There are so many Mama's who loved and cared for me, when my own Mother couldn't/wouldn't. And, they also hold a piece of my heart.

    I would encourage this Mom to accept that she IS a Mother. She will be forever a part of these children's lives. Though they may not remember her, deep inside...they will! Love ~ Jo