Being a foster mom is a strange thing. It feels completely natural to care for this child and yet I am reminded repeatedly how unnatural this situation actually is.
I am "just" a caregiver, but I am also a mother.
I mother this child and yet I'm not.
She doesn't know the difference, and honestly neither does my own heart.
When I said goodbye to my first little foster newborn about 5 years ago (who was actually my fourth foster child) I wondered if I had done something wrong. Was there some sort of foster parenting trick I hadn't learned, was there a secret that would shield me from the hurt? Was I just not cut out for this sort of thing? I was convinced I was a failure at fostering simply because I loved him, and I didn't want him to go. I didn't want to send a tiny baby out into the unknown. It was a painful letting go.
When something feels really bad it's natural to assume that it is bad, that we are doing something wrong. I felt a little …
Today I'm going to reverse that title and write some thoughts on what a church needs from a big messy family like mine, or yours. I often hear parents lamenting that they aren't getting what they need from others, or don't have community, or who isolate themselves because it just feels easier. There are many people talking about what special needs and adoptive families genuinely need from churches. What I don't see or hear a lot of is the opposite. What our churches need from us. Specifically those of us with big, complicated, non-typical sorts of famlies.
First of all I want to acknowledge that you are tired. Not only that, but you may be utterly exhausted 100% of the time. You are busy caring for little ones with various demands and needs 24 hrs a day. Nothing is ever easy. Just leaving the house to go buy some milk is a huge ordeal that expends an absurd…
The last couple weeks have had many special one year milestones for our littlest guy.
A couple days before Christmas we celebrated his first birthday.
365 days earlier I had no idea that the world had just welcomed a beautiful little boy. We had no idea that we would have a son in 2016, or that we would have a 7th child at all.
On the day of his birth there were no waiting room filled with friends and relatives anticipating joyful news. There were no balloons, excited birth announcements or celebrations.
There was an ambulance ride with a tiny little passenger.
A rush of medical professionals and social workers.
His first Christmas didn't include any "Baby's First Christmas" ornaments, there were no packages with his name under a tree, or families proclaiming that this new little life was the best gift they could recieve.
He brought in the New Year with beeping monitors and rotating hospital staff, as he fought of infections and endured symptoms no infant sh…