I sit here wondering how to begin. Do I go back to the very beginning of this story? Do I give a basic overview? How do you describe the relationship between a child you didn’t bring into this world and tragedy brought to you? How do you tell of the great joy that came out of such sorrow and somehow ended with pain?
My family was blessed with a little boy. My M was sweet. I should say is sweet. I’m just not his mommy anymore. You see, we took him in at a crucial time. His mother was dying, died while in our care. We loved him as our own. The system was broken and let him go back to the abusive situation. I broke as they drove off with my son. Fast forward months later. My son returned. I thought it was for good. But somehow God has planted a seed in my heart. I clearly heard this before he even came back… “You will get M back, find out you are pregnant and after the baby is born you will mourn the loss of him.” I heard it. I hoped it was just fear talking. We got M back. I found out I was pregnant. I had my baby. I didn’t want for him to go… But I knew he needed to. You see, he had 4 siblings he cried for every night. They were all in the same home except for him, and his youngest siblings foster family went to the same church as the rest. He was the only one away. He asked me hard questions to which I would say, “I can’t fix it.” But I knew that when he was 18 that answer wouldn’t cut it. My stomach hurt. It felt queasy. I cried and cried with my newborn in my arms knowing I had to do what was best for my boy. I wanted to be his forever mommy but I wanted what was best for him even more.
I felt guilty… but I knew I had to do something. I prayed specific prayers. Laid so many fleeces before God. Every prayer answered. Everything confirmed. He went for a visit. He came back saying he didn’t live with me anymore.
His heart had moved on. But mine hadn’t.
He transitioned in a rush. There was no real goodbye. I felt numb. My emotions got swept under the rug. But recently a lot of anger has been showing its ugly face… I didn’t understand. I didn’t deal with the pain. I didn’t realize how much I had let the lies of failing him and possibly ruining everything take over me. I know I heard God. I know He worked out everything so specifically so I would know it was Him. But the shame followed me. Until I spoke to someone about it… the first thing she said was, “But sweetheart, that’s foster care. You did the hard thing and I’m so proud of you.” Then she prayed. Prayed against the lies I had been holding onto. The guilt, regret and shame. Since then they’ve been gone. The sadness of not being his forever mommy still comes… but I am thankful that I had the honor of being one of his mommy’s. I’m thankful I got to teach him English, manners, how to pray, I’m thankful he asked me to help him accept Jesus into his heart, I’m thankful I got to teach him how to read. I’m thankful for the opportunity to love him. A song from the musical wicked comes to mind,
“Who can say that I’ve been changed for the better…because I knew you I have been changed for good.”
I always asked God to give me the opportunity to save a child. I prayed that as a child. Now looking back… I see it. The hours I spent combing lice and ticks from his hair, holding him and crying with him as he grieved the loss of his mommy, soothing him from nightmares, hard conversations about why his dad was the way he was and all about heaven.
God answered my hearts desire. I didn’t know my heart would break in the process.
“Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like you have loved me.
Break my heart for what breaks yours
Everything I am for your kingdoms cause”
Everything I am. I didn’t get to be his forever mommy. But I loved him hard while I had him. I still pray for him. If ever a time came and he needed me I would do anything for him. But maybe sometimes it isn’t forever. And that’s ok. My heart is healing. And I’m ready to let God break it again for what breaks his. I have one life. And I want to use it well.
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.