Her: She called me “mama.” It was music to my ears, because it took her so long to name me. I watched her serious self turn into a sassy, thrill-seeking toddler. I watched her seek out cuddles for love, instead of clinging to others for safety. She never watched me cry, because I hid my tears from her when it was time for her to go home to her family so it could be a celebration. I watched the reunification process heal a family. I watched us let her go, physically. I watch us still talk about her like she’s a part of our family, because she is. She was a year and a half of our lives.
Him: He calls me ‘mommy.’ I’ve watched him add words to his vocabulary every day. I’ve watched his once-timid self turn into a loud and boisterous little boy. I’ve watched him learn to trust people. I’ve watched him develop likes and dislikes, and watched in awe (among other emotions) when he attempts to reason and barter a deal like a pro. I watch his bond with my husband and absolutely love the relationship that the two of them have- the rest of us are second place, after his Daddy. I watched a biological mother make the ultimate sacrifice for the best interest of her child that she loved so much, and instead place all of her trust in us. I watched the adoption process take place, and watched him become our son.
Her: She calls all of us ‘daddy’ or ‘baby,’ and I’ve learned to embrace it. She is our smallest and youngest, and we’ve watched her grow into a spunky, energetic little toddler. We’ve watched the roller coaster of a case plan go through ups and down and right now, we’re watching ourselves prepare for the inevitable heartache that’s around the corner. We know it well…..we will watch ourselves let her go too. We will watch the healing process our hearts will undergo once again, knowing that it was all worth it. For her, learning the fundamentals, learning routine, and getting the medical attention she needed is solid enough proof of that.
2 toddlers taking their first steps.
3 Christmases filled with laughter, visits with Santa, toys, and love.
4 Social Worker interactions, each different from the next.
5 Birthdays celebrated.
Countless tears, smiles, memories, all because of this foster care journey. I’ve been trying to detach myself from the foster care process, because that will bring nothing but stress and overwhelming emotion. Instead, I’m trying to focus on this kids. They’re what matter most….
…..Because he calls me ‘mommy.’ She called me ‘mama.’ She calls me ‘daddy’ or ‘baby.’ And I call them the center of my world. All because of foster care.