‘I get to be his safe place. I get to be the one who rocks him to sleep and kisses his boo-boos. I get to love him and receive his love in return.’: Mom urges gratitude for fostering, ‘It’s a privilege’

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“I get to do this.

The last few weeks, I’ve been fighting a sense of being trapped. As sleep consulting has picked up steam and my big kids have become even more independent, it’s been tempting to question what ‘freedom’ I might be enjoying and how my life could look different if we hadn’t chosen to follow God’s leading into foster care right now.

And as I’ve wrestled with this resentment at how little I can actually accomplish with four kids, one of which is completely dependent on me and needs eyes on him every waking moment, I was reminded by a dear friend that this is a privilege.

Mom takes a photo of her four kids, one in foster care and one adopted, spending time together on a trampoline
Courtesy of Allison Ezell

I get to do this.

I get to be his safe place.

I get to be the one who rocks him to sleep and kisses his boo-boos.

I get to be the one whose lap he crawls into and exhales.

Foster mom takes a selfie of her foster son cuddling with her and sleeping on her shoulder in a red shirt
Courtesy of Allison Ezell

I get to love him and receive his love in return.

I get to love his first family and support their journey to healing.

How often we think of our blessings as obligations, rather than seeing them as the gifts they truly are.

Young child draws a family picture, including his little foster brother
Courtesy of Allison Ezell

So, my encouragement to you today is to change the ‘have to’ to ‘get to.’

You don’t have to work out – you get to. Many people don’t have the privilege of an able body and time to move it.

You don’t have to cook dinner – you get to. Many would die for the food you currently have in your refrigerator.

You don’t have to comfort your child at 2 a.m. – you get to be their safe person. I know countless women who would love to take your place.

And I’m mostly preaching this to myself tonight on the eve of a ‘snow day’ – I get to spend the day making memories at home with my kids tomorrow. It’s a gift. Let’s all just say a prayer those memories include more laughter than bloodshed because the sibling struggle is oh so very real over here.

(And also – anyone who still believes 3 kids and 4 is the same is welcome to come babysit.)”

Family of six take a candid photo while they all look at and admire their young foster son
Ryan O’Dowd Photography

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Allison Ezell of Dallas, TX. You can follow her journey on Instagram here and here. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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‘When the social worker left, he didn’t even know my name. Today, he shares mine. I could not be more proud to hear him call me dad.’: Single dad shares adoption journey, ‘We’re both better people because of it’

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