Tuesday, September 29, 2015


Man alive!  Anyone who says being a parent is easy is a big, fat, hairy LIAR.  Or perhaps they just don't have children.  If the former, confess and God will forgive your sins.  He is nice like that.  If the latter, you are right.  Parenting is so easy.  You should have a few and give me a call when the first turns three.

I have four children right now.  Two are flesh of my flesh.  Two are heart of my heart.  This many blessings means Momma does not get to see movies when they are first released.

Therefore, I just watched Philomena for the first time.  This movie has torn me up.  I realize my previous sentence is hardly a compelling incentive to watch said movie, but if you have not seen it, you should go fix that problem right now.

Philomena got me thinking.  Isn't that what all great art should do?  But these thoughts - good gravy!  My brain is crowded with them.  There is no way to categorize them or silence them.  Thoughts about birth-parents.  About when our children grow up.

It got me wondering when our heart-children will someday want to know about their birth-parents.  Right now, our loves do not really know they are in foster care.  At one and two-years-old, all they know is they are home, and we are their parents.  As they grow up, they will know they are adopted.  We do not plan to ever keep that a secret.  We already talk about it now.  That is the easy part - knowing they will know.
The hard part is divulging their story.  Questions swirl in my head.  What do we tell them?  How young is too young to know of some of life's harshest realities?  How much do we share?  What is too much?  When should we share their birth-parents' names?

Each question brings another question.

Even though we clearly have more questions than answers, I want our children to know they can ask us anything.  I do not want them to ever feel like some things are "off limits" to discuss.  This is their life.  So...
My Darling Heart-Child,

Today you splashed in puddles with your sisters. You giggled and danced about in the water.  While you enjoyed the blissful existence that is childhood, I sat thinking about someday.
You see, someday you may want to know about your birth-parents.  You may want to see a picture of them.  You might want to know what kind of people they are.  Where they are.  Why you were removed.  This is normal.  It in no way will diminish the love we share.

I will not have all the answers you seek, but some facts I will know.  This information will be guarded until you are ready.
On that someday, if you want to know more, I will search with you.  I will hold your hand.  I will stand beside you.  I will cry with you.  I will be angry with you.  I will forgive with you.  Most importantly, I will PRAY with you and just BE THERE.

But you know what?  Someday might not come for you.  You may decide you do not want to know.  That is completely fine and normal, too.  There is no rule book to adoption that must be followed.

Whatever you decide, know this, dear one, God created a breathtakingly beautiful YOU from your birth-parents.  For that, I will be eternally grateful to Him and them.  Being your momma is my joy, my dream come true, my long prayed for miracle.



Become a Foster Parent

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Dear Birth Mom

Today I brought your son to you for a goodbye visit.

He screams as he leaves my arms.  The pain in your eyes - I have to look away.

You get two hours.

Two hours to say goodbye to the little boy who once lived inside you.  Your only son.  Are you remembering the first time you felt him move inside your womb?  Do you see his dimple and think about the first time he smiled at you?

Then it is time.  What must have passed all too quickly for you seemed an eternity to me.  He excitedly reaches for me squealing, "Mama," and I see your defeat.

I put him in the car.  You lean in once more for your last kiss, and I close the door.

You hug me and plead with me, "Make sure he remembers how much I love him."

I hug you back, "Of course."

And this song starts playing in my head.  Songs tend to haunt me.  Lurking in my mind.  Cropping up when I least expect them to.  This one has been following me for several months now.  Tonight, I hear it, and my heart breaks for you, dear birth mother.

Tomorrow we will stand before a judge to hear one word:


The word we have been waiting to hear.  The very word you dread.

I had been eagerly anticipating this day, but after today I am just a mangled mess of emotions.

It is so easy to judge a person's actions from afar.  But the foster care process is not one that can be viewed from afar.  We have had a front row seat for all of your failures.  But we also have learned your past.  Where you came from.

Who would I be today if I had lived your life?  Born into a broken home.  Unwanted by my own mother.  Surrounded on all sides by drugs and violence.

I pray for you.  That you become free of your addictions.  That you are able to "lay down your burdens" and find "earth has no sorrow that Heaven can't heal."

I find myself imagining Heaven.  Us sitting at the table together and seeing him run to us.  Knowing us both as Mama.  You see, he is not your son, or my son.  He is our son.  You chose life, when death would have been much easier.  For that, I will be forever grateful to you.

You are far.  Far from where you need to be.  But you are not too far.  There is no such thing.  Jesus longs to see you healed.  Maybe one day you can be in your son's life again.  Until then, I will guard him.  I will be Mama to him.

One day.  One day, dear.  The addictions will lose their power.  One day you will find something of his and feel the pain all over again.  I know this does not make it easier, but know he is loved.  Fiercely.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Beautiful, Dangerous, Hopeful


What a beautiful word.  It pours from your lips over and over again.  Your first word.  My heart overflows with unspeakable joy.  Pudgy hands touch my face.  You press your forehead against mine.  You back up, look into my eyes, then pull my face in close to kiss me.  The heart has the ability to love deeper than I ever knew.  This is beauty.


What a dangerous word.  You see, I am your Foster Mama.  But in my heart of hearts, I know we belong together.  I feel it when you reach for me.  I see it in your smile that reflects my own.  There is no way to guard yourself when a child calls you Mama.  It weaves your hearts together into one fabric which can only be separated through the most painful of ripping.  A ripping I have felt before.  This is danger.


What a hopeful word.  For a foster mama, life is one of waiting.  Court dates.  Family conferences.  Birth parent visits.  Each one is hard.  Each is a reminder that I am not your Mama.  Constantly on my lips are prayers for you to become my forever child.  I long for the day you call me Mama and it is true.  This is hope.


How do people do this without the Creator of Motherhood to hold them?  To mend their hearts when they are torn apart?  I am not strong.  I could never do this without Him.

Blessed be the name of the Lord for calling me to such a beautiful, dangerous, hopeful life - and then sustaining me in it.