How is still not Friday? I feel like time is literally just creeping by. That’s probably because I am sleep deprived, sick, and running on fumes. The once seemingly easy work day is now a challenge just to keep my eyes open for. Luckily 10 year-olds have some understanding about how much work it is to be a parent to little ones so they are understanding when I am trying to teach but literally cannot stop yawning. I’ve realized this is now my life.
When I look back and think how exhausted I was transitioning from no children to one child I never thought it would be possible to survive having two children, but here we are not only surviving but thriving. Yes, I have no energy, have managed to get sick for a the billionth time this year, and I feel like my house will never not look like a tornado hit it, but having two babies reminds me that being a mother was what I was called to do. It reminds me that even though I may never sleep a full 8 hours again, it’s completely worth it because I get the chance to be these babies momma for however long God allows.
In the mere 7 days we’ve been a family of 4 I feel as if my life has done a 180. I’m going to just be blatantly honest here because if it’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that sugar coating motherhood gets me nowhere. Becoming a foster mother the first time around was not easy. In the past two months of having E in our home I’ve struggled to bond with him. I’ve prayed, and blogged, and journaled, and reached out for professional help because I thought there was something seriously wrong with me. I thought that maybe my heart wasn’t cut out to love on those who already have biological mothers and fathers. I wondered why I couldn’t manage to love this child unconditionally when he is literally the happiest, sweetest, most loving 13 month old I’ve ever met. Don’t get me wrong, I really like him, but loving him was another obstacle within itself. I struggled day and night, seeking professional help from therapists and doctors, trying to find the root for this lack of patience and bonding I had towards him, but nothing seemed to fully help, that was until she came along.
She came into our home screaming at the top of her lungs, telling us she was not happy about being moved to another home for the millionth time in her mere 4 months of life. She fussed and whined and struggled to settle all night long. She made me question every ounce of myself as a human being in those wee hours of the night. I immediately regretted saying “yes” to her when she arrived on our door step. How in the world did I think I could take care of 2 children when I’m barely surviving with only one? What do you even do with a 4 month old? How will I ever manage to still work full time when she’s not even sleeping through the night? These fears and worries constantly hit me over and over as the night went on. By the next morning it was as if my nerves had taken on a life of their own. My body literally was tingling and I felt like I could go into shock at any minute. We knew nothing about this precious soul. The 2 sentences that were written in the email asking for placement was the only information we had. I sat in fear most of the day.
But then something changed. Something beautiful, and miraculous, and perfect happened. I got to see Josh fall head over heels in love with this little soul. I got to see him light up when he looked at her. I got to witness him willingly get up every hour throughout the night just so she could have someone there to love on her when she was having a hard time sleeping. I got to see my husband bond instantly with this sweet babe in mere hours. Because of this, my heart completely changed. I began loving her more than I’ve ever loved anything in my entire life. When I looked at her all I saw was my child. I didn’t see foster care. I didn’t see another biological mother. I didn’t see case workers, and court hearings, and neglect. I saw beauty from ashes. I saw my baby girl.
These were the feelings I had been waiting so long for, the feelings of unconditional love; the feelings of attachment so strong I knew I would be devastated beyond belief if she ever left our home. These are the feelings I’ve deprived myself of for so many months, thinking it would be too hard to experience this kind of love when you know the inevitable is going to be heart-breaking loss. But that’s what I’ve so desperately wanted all this time. I’ve wanted to feel the love so strong that even if these babies left they would know how to love and attach themselves to others. I’ve been praying for my heart to stop protecting itself for this sole reason. And she was finally the answer to that prayer.
Because of her I was able to love E. I look at her and I see nothing but love in its purest form. When I look at him I think how he deserves nothing less than what I feel for her. He deserves to be loved so much that every waking hour I’m thinking of him and his future in this world. He deserves to have foster parents that proudly say, “This is my son.”
If we had not said yes, we would never have known the love we could have experienced. E would never have been able to have the opportunity for us to finally love him unconditionally, and we might have missed out on the most beautiful journey in our entire lives. We do not know what tomorrow holds with sweet Baby Girl, but one thing is for sure….she is the one who finally made our family complete.