She’s My Mom, Too
“She’s my mom, too!”
The familiar refrain floats to my weary ears. I walk around the corner, where Joy, my three year old, grins up at me and then looks over at her two year old foster sister, words sweet as honey on her lips.
“O’tay, A. I share my mommy and daddy with you.”
I raise my eyebrows at her, letting her know I’m on to her antagonizing tricks. A, a feisty little thing, shimmies up my leg like a spider monkey.
“I loves you, Mom. I hold you.”
My heart melts, just like it does every single time. Even when I know she’s manipulating me. Her brother, D, looks at me knowingly.
“They’re fighting again.”
“Yep. What’re we gonna do with them?”
He just grins his toothless grin and reaches his arms up too. I grin back and pick him up. We look ridiculous, and really, he’s too old. But I will hold him a thousand times to make up for any day he went without nurturing touch.
I walk through the room and ignore the slight pain in my elbows and hips from the constant weight of kiddos. Because, seriously, how blessed am I to have a load such as this? And my heart aches, a deeper ache than some sore joints. An ache because of the unknown…the uncertain future of these two littles. Of our family.
And I know I’ve done it.
I’ve fallen head over heels in love with these children.
And it’s dangerous…this unguarded heart. Because I know it might break clean in two. But I will love fully, deeply. I will love them like a mama should love her children, even if I have to say ‘good-bye’ one day. Because they deserve to be loved well.
I watched my own mama bury her first born. And I know…without a doubt…had she known the pain and sickness and early good-bye that awaited them, she would have loved him just as willingly, fiercely. More so.
And so isn’t that what I do with these kids in my care? Love them for the time I have them? For a month? For a year? For a lifetime?
As I selfishly petition my Father for a lifetime with these kids, I am always, always brought back to the reality that there is another mother out there. One who does love her kids. And I realize anew that if I were to have the ‘victory’ of being a forever mama to these kids…that will be a very bitter, pain-filled loss for her.
D and I were alone in the van when he said words that filled that empty space with his reality.
“I came from my mom’s tummy,” he said matter-of-fact, his eyes meeting mine in the rearview mirror.
“You sure did,” I swallowed hard, trying to get confident words out of this dry throat.
“And she’ll always be your mama, no matter what. That’s a special bond between you two.”
He was quiet for a bit, contemplative. Then he spoke softly, hesitantly.
“You’ll always be my mommy, too.”
Tears clouded my vision, as I smiled big at him in that mirror…nodding my head mutely because words wouldn’t come.
And I think about this crazy life we’re in. Such a broken world where courts and judges and DHS and fostering and adoption have to exist. I think about fractured family trees, missing names and faces.
Then I think about how God promises He can “graft us back in.” And how He is the maker of families. And I pray for Him to show us all grace and love here…A and D. James and I and our own four beautiful littles. And their mom.
Maybe the best thing I can do by holding these littles…is to show them to the very top of the family tree. To the infallible Father. Who will not leave them or forsake them. But hold them whatever their days might bring.
Maybe as the other mother, this is what I was meant to do.