Baby Boy was the recipient of all my focus, energy, hugs and kisses and jokes. I had some much extra love in my heart, I think I nearly drowned him with all the love I poured on him. That kind of sums how I view life, my philosophy is more rooms, more room. We always have a bed, a seat and room for you to come as you are.
What a difference this past year has made. Baby Boy joined us just weeks before Christmas 2016, February brought Little One (each weekend), April Little Man joined us and this past July our Little Cub. How different my days are, how different our home is and how different this Mama is.
Building my family through foster care is a unique experience. You receive a call, within hour(s) you are the parent of one or more children. These children are strangers and you begin your journey of knowing them. Overtime you learn their fears, quirks and who they are. You begin falling in love with these little strangers, not knowing if you have months, years or forever with them.
I look at my current tribe and wonder what will next year bring? We know that Baby Boy will be forever ours, as we await a final date and the details of adoption. However what about the other three, I am often asked “will they be yours?” The hard reality of fostering is we don’t get to choose. More often than not I have come across families whose hearts are broken when they don’t get to keep those Littles they desperately love.
Being a foster parent is risky and painful. There is very little security in this world when it comes to love. Being a foster parent means you don’t get the 9 months of pregnancy to prepare, there is no maternity leave and you don’t get to soak in those first moments post birth. We often miss the first moments or years of our children’s lives. We get all of the hurt, fears and aches, we grieve with them, fight for them and let them go, when we don’t want to. We say goodbye more often than we want. We perfect the hello to strangers, opening our home to those hurting Littles.
This love is risky, this love has broken me, this love has changed me. My tribe of 7 is my daily reminder that the risk is worth it. The price tag is high but loving them well means my heart never finds that place of complete peace, no parent ever finds that place.
Being a foster parent is hard, the hardest thing I have ever done in fact. Being a foster parent is messy. Being a foster parent is chaotic. It is also, the most life giving, joy inducing, soul satisfying thing I have ever done. It is in the brokenness of it all I have found contentment, I have found joy, I have found grace and compassion, I have found more love when I thought there was none left to give.