“I wish you could meet my precious boy. You would understand why I love him so.
You just look at this little boy and his face lights up and his lips curl into a beautiful smile. He lays his head on your shoulder and sucks his thumb, he jumps up and down on your lap, he grabs your face in his hands and kisses you. He is gorgeous and sweet and so easy to love. And I do love him.
But when his social worker asked me to adopt him, I said no. The thought of saying good-bye to him breaks my heart, the idea of him not being in our family hurts deeply, but still, I said no.
Adoption was one of the great dreams of my life. I adopted two of my children, and I’m convinced that it’s as deep a joy as any mama can experience. I love adoption, and I love this boy. But also, I love foster care. I love being a foster mom. I love foster children.
It may seem strange that I would choose hypothetical children I’ve never met over an actual boy that I already love, but it’s not about choosing others over him. It’s about choosing a calling. It’s about choosing to continue to be a foster mom.
With a six child limit, a three bedroom house and, well, a plain-old-not-super-human-self, I can’t just adopt every child who comes into my home. And so after adopting our girls, I knew it. I knew it the way you know these things. Our family is complete. We’re done having children. We’re done adopting children. But we’re not done opening our home to children. We still have a little bit of room in our home, and a lot of room in our hearts.
When God closed my heart-door to adopting more children, he opened it to fostering many. He took the dream of becoming a forever mom again and replaced it with the dream of being a foster mom, forever.
This dream of being a foster mom is riddled with sacrifice and loss, pain and anxiety, but it’s also covered in joy. Like the joy of showing a child what family can be. The joy of watching and helping a child heal and grow. The joy of giving and showing and teaching love. The joy of coming alongside a mother as she fights for her children. The joy of bringing a child and his forever, adoptive family together. This is the joy of this new dream of mine.
So no more adoption for this mama. Now, I’m ‘just’ a foster mom.
Don’t fret. This precious boy is going to be adopted by a wonderful family, some of my dearest friends.”
Read more stories like this:
‘On her 10th birthday, her belongings were jammed into trash bags, already waiting for her. She was yanked from her entire life, and thrust into a new one.’: Social worker candidly shares reality of foster care system
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