Fostering and adopting children from hard places is a life-long healing journey that no class can prepare you for. It’s more challenging and more life-giving through daily refinement than I ever imagined. We parent differently after growing through foster and adoption. Things that used to seem like big deals–are no longer big deals, and vice versa–milestones of a simple hug or “I love you” leave you completely speechless with streaming tears of praise in a way parenting children without trauma never could have before. THIS–is a holy, unnatural and supernaturally made natural journey that we could not do alone. We need each other.
If I could wish or pray anything into your journey as a foster or adoptive parent it would be that the Lord brings others into your life with a deep calling to see healing in the hearts of foster and adoptive children to walk beside you. To me–these are my heroes–those who would foster or adopt in a flat second–but God has said “no” walk beside this or that family instead. THIS is holy, sacred, hard but a beautiful place to be as our motherly instinct will always want to be the one rocking a little one or caring for a little one. We aren’t all called to foster or adopt–but maybe we are called to walk beside others and be a part of the healing in unseen ways. How thankful I am for my family and friends who are unseen but make me a better mom–who no longer offer advice but rather time, tissues or are there to celebrate with me each new milestone they understand differently with me.
Thank you to my friends and family who I’ve known forever foster and adoption was part of your hearts…and for being there. It’s breathtaking to me–that just maybe…being a part of my children’s life might be part of that foster and adoption tug on your hearts all along. I have no words. But I want to thank you for saying yes…every time you see…and were there.
Some things you don’t always see…
A mom in the background–who traveled across the world while daddy stayed back with younger kids…one who really, really needed daddy to stay. She traveled across the world and didn’t complain ONE time about not holding a new grandchild…because she understood attachment and the first days–and it was worth it to her to just BE THERE.
Something else you won’t always see…is the person BEHIND the camera. My sister. In fact, you’ll rarely see her in my pictures because she’s like Tinkerbell and sprinkles her way in often at the most important times (times when a camera is least appropriate and things don’t look beautiful). A heart of gold–and she talked about adoption and fostering long before it was ever in our world. She has 3 biological daughters…and she’s an amazing aunt to my kids. She helped me start Created for Care to encourage foster and adoption moms–and she gives up her weekends every year to serve. She kept our other kids while we went to China. She traveled behind the camera to Ethiopia. And she’s there at every turn to offer a patient hand, to remind me how far we’ve come and to give us respite when we need it. (How YOU ever convinced our youngest to take on the potty this weekend April I will never grasp! I love how the things that are scary for my kids–some how are made not so scary with your words to them. The little things are big things to these kids–thank you for understanding and being there. Always.)
These people…I’m so grateful for. They weren’t just at the airport–they have always been there…there’s a story with each one how they walk beside us…with us…
I couldn’t have done a year or therapies to and from Children’s without my friend Christy being available. Or the retreats without her either–a mom of two kids that I met in carpool over 5 years ago–who still runs beside me. Or Tami who is here when I need her…or my other Tammy and my Kelly and my Jett who is always there…all at EVERY retreat volunteering behind the scenes…but also a phone call away and who listen and understand when things aren’t easy. Or Mama Judy showing up at EVERY holiday to make ALL my kids feel so special…and preparing daily treat bags for EACH of them every time we travel to grow…something I didn’t think of or have time to do. SO many more to name–but these friends have been beside me through this journey from the beginning and have been healing hands to both me and my children. ALL moms with hearts for foster care and adoption–but just maybe THIS…being with us…beside us…our community…in this journey TOGETHER…is how that calling might play out for them. And I’m so thankful…and humbled…and without any more words.
Yes…this is what I hope and wish for you as you begin your adoption and foster journey…that you would have friends and family who change everything with you…to walk beside you…because He is calling you to walk together…to need each other…to celebrate milestones TOGETHER…to be refined by Him as these children change EACH OF YOU more than you could ever bring change to them…and to raise your hands together as you experience the Healer more and more…and more.
Trust Him in your journey for this. He is faithful.
Thank you for being there…so much more than the background or on the sidelines in my pictures. So much more than that.
Trusting and praying and hoping and running with you,