There’s a lot of things you learn through foster care trainings but one thing I was not prepared for last year is how difficult Mother’s Day is for a foster mom. Last year, to be honest, Mother’s Day was terrible for me. I grieved for the 3 children I had mothered throughout the year who were no longer in my care, and for the one I carried in my womb for a precious 8 weeks before losing. No one told me how hard that would be and how it would sneak up on me and surprise me, like the nasty prank of getting water doused in one’s face.
Here I am a year later and the water’s been thrown in my face again, just as surprising. Not much has changed, except this year there are 3 more little lives I have mothered and no longer care for. The babe I hold today, I am reminded, is not really mine to celebrate either. There is painful awareness of the “real mom”.
I have friends who are foster moms without biological children and they often tell me that they aren’t sure whether they can really embrace the title of “Mom” because their status seems so unsure and wishy washy, sometimes literally changing weekly or monthly. Though I have two biological children, I feel their pain with each child that comes and goes. The Enemy sneaks in and taunts us, saying we’re not really their mom, like it’s just a childhood game of “house”. The lies are countless and if we are not careful, so easily believed. The dream of one day celebrating Mother’s Day with children who are truly ours forever is so strong that it wraps around me and chokes me sometimes. I press on towards that day, but I also know that in part, the Enemy would love for me to be so fixated on it that I neglect the ones who are just passing through here. It is important that we are mothering them, and we’re not just playing “house” – we are participating in a holy war and calling.
Fellow foster mom, I celebrate you this weekend. I see your thankless job and am proud of you. I know your heart of pain and fragile hope. I know you are remembering all you have mothered and are aching for them. Though your arms may be emptier tomorrow than you’d like, wear the title of “Mom” proudly.
Happy Mother’s Day.