I held this belief that, once I stepped out of my foster parent shoes and into the adoptive mom role, everything would magically change for my kiddos. I thought that the security of our family mixed with the love and time we give our children would right any past pain that my children went through. Now I can see how silly and unrealistic that sounds. Just like how, when I got married, I believed we would live a fairy-tale life where every day would be filled with puppy dog love and that my romance cup would always be overflowing. Not unlike when I swore I would never be like my parents and thought my kids would feel they were the luckiest kids in the world to have a mom like me. All of these are now neatly filed in the “what were you thinking” bin of my life.
Here is reality. My husband and I have had hundreds of conversations this month alone about sexy things like where all the pacifiers keep disappearing to or who was supposed to get the kids’ buckets packed for school in the morning and why does the car smell like throw-up. I have been pooped on, yelled at, and thought I broke my elbow falling on the miscellaneous toy left conveniently on the floor. We have failed almost nightly at getting two of my strong-willed children to simply go to bed. I have been a crying heap wishing my child did not struggle in school or at home– let me be more honest—wishing my child would only be seen for the kind-hearted, loving, creative soul that he is and not by how the past has a way of creeping into his present. We have had disagreements on what is best to help our kids be successful in the future and I have struggled with the realization that I cannot fix everything. There are days that I truly feel like the biggest failure. I know what you are thinking. Sign me up! That sounds amazing. Well, here is the amazing part…
I have 7 incredible kids that I deeply love even on their worst days. And, push comes to shove, they love me even on my worst days. They make me smile and laugh with their silly ways and things they are learning. I am filled with pride over the littlest accomplishments and have experienced more love than I ever thought was possible. Unconditional love does not magically happen. It is proven through the good days but, especially in the bad. It grows and is tested through the worst moments and, as a result, creates true relational strength. Fostering brought out the best and the worst in us and, as a result, caused us to pull together as a family in deep meaningful ways. In one of the hardest moments, I gave my child a love song. “I Won’t Give Up”. These words are as true today as that special day…”I won’t give up on us even if the skies get rough. I’m giving you all my love. I’m still looking up.”
If you are interested in learning more about taking a leap of love, check out https://fosterarizona.org/participate/
& CEO/Founder – Foster Arizona