We started foster care for my daughter Jessica when she was three years old. She had seen some horrible abuse from her birth family, and came to us with many of the issues common to people who’ve been treated that way from an early age. We fell in love with her, and decided that we would be her forever home. We fought to adopt her for years, with the adoption finally being finalized when she was eight. It has the ring of a sappy holiday special, but there were huge ups and downs in parenting her. Most days didn’t look anything like a TV special.
Later in life she fought her demons of addiction, almost an echo of my own battles. It is a relief beyond words that she has found a way to maintain a clean and sober lifestyle. She has found friends and a community that support her, and she has blossomed in a most beautiful way.
I was there when her beautiful son Joseph was born, and it was clear that this was a turning point in her life. She has written about her experience, and I thought that I would share it here on my blog.
As I sit here, washing dishes that fell behind while Joseph was sick, I see toys scattered around, books we have read over and over- precious belongings that have caught my toes many a time. I reflect on what my life has become.
My house is a cluttered disaster of toys, unpacked things, and remnants of a beautiful life that I get to be a part of today. A year ago… I never knew my life would be so blessed. I was going through pregnancy, knowing I would be a single mother. Anxiously awaiting the beautiful baby I knew would change my life forever.
Change can be scary for a person like myself. This change, however, was a long awaited dream. It has been my life’s desire to be a mother. My mother gave me the best chance in the world, when, from birth, my chance was less than most.
I look upon the scattered toys, as I move from the dishes to the beautiful, playful, learning mess that becomes once my beautiful baby boy comes home and gets his time with Mommy (Me!! How blessed I am to be his Mommy!), and all I can do is smile. Every book, every toy, is a memory of the life I get to build with him. As I put things away, to be ready for the new mess that will ensue tomorrow, I see his smiling face in my head. His little cheesin’ grin- his happiness. He is the most beautiful, blessed, amazing miracle of life that I have ever been given a chance to be a part of.
Once upon a time, I was granted forgiveness by someone I never thought would do that. It is a forgiveness I never thought possible. It was that forgiveness that gave me the strength to forgive myself. I still miss that person’s smile, laugh, and how much my son adored them.
Now, at this very moment in time, I sit beside my son, Joseph, and I can’t help but think, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I remember my life as a childless person, and then my life’s true purpose called upon me. Once again… I wouldn’t have it any other way. Being a Mommy- THAT is my true life’s purpose. “To give back what was so freely given to me” is what many I know say.
My parents gave me a chance at life, a chance at happiness, a chance at fulfillment. That is what I hope to give to my son. I love him more than the infinity of stars in the universe. I just whispered him his “Goodnight, Sleep Tights” for the third time tonight, and I know that he will sleep tight. Why? Because I know, in my heart of hearts, that he knows he is loved. I know he is well taken care of. I know that he is happy. I know that I am his Mommy, and nobody can take that from him. Joseph Charles… I love you with all my heart and soul. All ways and always. Gosh… I am so blessed to be a part of his life… I am blessed to finally be a Mommy. I am grateful that my HP saw fit for me to be given the opportunity to be a part of the miracle of life- the miracle of true love!
And now…. I better get to bed! Being a single Mom is no joke, and I gotta be up and at ’em tomorrow to continue to provide for my lil’ miracle baby!