We have to learn to love who we’ve become, despite what it cost that we never knew we’d have to pay. We’re not responsible for the actions of others who hurt us. We are responsible for how we respond.
I have my biological mother to thank for that lesson. As a former foster child, I’m beyond thankful for the statistics I didn’t become. Many don’t finish high school. Many never attempt college. Many of the children in family court become defendants in criminal court.
Not becoming a statistic became a goal as soon as I realized I’d probably age out of the system. Blame my nerd brain for being a fifteen-year-old looking them up. Many foster children don’t have a loving foster family. Don’t consider that being part of a loving family is an option. Don’t experience of the love they read about in books. Most foster children weren’t teenage mothers who give their children up for adoption.
My senior year goals focused on succeeding in my career. Not being a wife. Not being a mother. When I became both, I decided to confront the lingering pain of my unorthodox past. To live the walk and talk I studied in the Bible. Loving my daughter without the shadow of fear I’d repeat history required forgiving my biological mother for everything.
The power of a mother’s love not only cast out fear, it brought a divine freedom, hope, courage, and strength to be my best for her (my daughter) and for myself. Few people knew how much pain Mother’s day caused me for years. Former foster child and birth mother of an adopted child. The tears I cried alone were enough to fill a few barrels, the jars weren’t big enough.
I haven’t felt that way about Mother’s Day in over ten years. Today and every day I cherish being a mother.
I celebrate my foster mom every year. I have been basking in the blessing of my daughter’s love each Mother’s Day weekend. The beautiful son God trusted me to birth acknowledges my part in his life, which I appreciate every day.
All the time I gave to fear, doubt, unforgiveness, and shame taught me to “carpe diem” every moment after being free from the agony of it all. There is no way to go back and change anything. The truth is, I don’t want to change a thing. My hope and prayer is other women will be open to receive the love from God that will ease the pain, comfort of the Holy Spirit to learn from each experience, and walk in the courage of hope to expect a better today and tomorrow.
Being orphaned sucks. Giving your child up for adoption because you know it’s best for both of you sucks less but hurts more. Finding the strength, love, and knowing you’re worth the effort to make the rest of your life the best life possible each day is priceless. Never forget no matter what your path to motherhood has been in God’s eyes, you are worth dying for and his son came for you to have the option to keep living.