My Village

My Mom's last layover just happened to be the day after Baby V came so she got to meet him.

She's in love, just like the rest of us.

And Josie was reacquainted with her mittens, so she was a happy camper too!

Seeing my Mom with the baby struck me in a strange way.

This August will mark 3 years since Andrew and I started the process to become foster parents. At the time, my only concern was getting a baby.

Then, after we had the boys with us, I actually felt called to be a foster parent and love on the kids who had been removed from their birth family homes.

I know it's a calling, a ministry.

You'd have to be crazy to take on the risk of having your heart broken on purpose. But for me, I can honestly say it's worth it to know I'm making a difference.

I have spent the last week obsessing over whether or not Baby V would be staying or leaving us at the end of this long road. I was scared to let my guard down. Embarrassed to introduce him as my son, knowing I may have to recant at the end of the year.

But I woke up this morning and felt an overwhelming sense that I am doing what I am supposed to by loving him while he is here.

I don't know the outcome or what bumps we will hit along the way. But I do know that while he is living under our roof, we will be his parents, his advocates, his number one fans.

The thing is, it involves more then just Andrew, Josie, and I.

When I saw my Mom's eyes well up or when I hear the excitement in Darlene's voice. When I think about bringing him to meet my Dad or hear my brother's concern for Josie, I realize they are in this just as much as I am.

And that I never sought any of their opinion before we embarked on this journey.

And that probably wasn't very fair.

Without saying a word, I've asked my parents my family, our friends all to put their own hearts at risk for the sake of this child.

I remember when I called my Mom and Dad the night Josie came home to us.

It was surreal.

For as long as I can remember, being a Mom was my destiny. My parents knew it. I just don't think they were expecting it to come the way it did.

No double pink lines. No baby showers. No 9 months to get used to the idea of your baby having a baby.

Josie was the first adoption in my immediate family. And never once have I thought that anyone in our families thought of her as anything but ours. And that takes open hearts.

I know that Baby V has brought up major concerns. Concerns over my heart being crushed. Concerns over how Josie will take it if he leaves.

So let me reassure everyone that we are fully aware of what we are doing. I know the risk. I know the consequence. I have talked at length with Josie about why Baby V is here and what the different outcomes are. She knows what adoption is and she knows what foster care is. I have reassured her daily that she is ours forever no matter what. She is strong and resilient and probably more capable of handling the whole situation then the rest of us are.

Fostering is one of those things that I really wish didn't exist. I wish parents took care of their kids. I wish drugs and jail and living on the streets weren't a part of any child's life.

But they are.

And I can't ignore it.

I don't know where Baby V will be this time next year, but I do know that he will be in all of our hearts in a way that most of us weren't prepared for.

Fostering takes a village.

It takes grandparents and uncles. Cousins and friends.

I know my family thinks we have abnormally huge hearts for doing this, but the truth is, so do they. They instilled the values and love in me that allow me to love on this sweet boy. And they have opened their hearts just as wide as I have.

My family makes me proud of who I am and I can't think of a better village to help me raise my babies.


The Swann's said...

That is a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing your heart. It is people like you and Andrew that, one child at a time, make a lifetime difference.

I have a cousin who their family fosters children in the hopes of adopting and have seen how it does have this ripple effect. When talking to Charles about my desire to foster we never once talked about how it would affect our families... Different light.

And you have a beautiful village to raise your family in!

kimmer said...

Thank you for these beautiful words. Once again you have written directly from your heart and soul. You have an amazing gift with words my dear girl!
Some people may be skeptical, or not understanding of how you and Andrew (and Josie!) have opened your hearts to Baby Vaughn, but as for me, and the entire family, we all agree that what you are doing is so wonderful! Each day spent caring for him and loving him is making a difference in his life. I am so proud to be a part of that!
For all you do and for who you are...I am so blessed to be your mom! I love you all!