Monday, August 27, 2012

My Weekend as a Mama

Y'all...this morning I am completely wrecked. As I go around this morning, picking up toys and blankets, it is through mixed tears of joy and sadness.

If you didn't already know, Josh and I got a placement call Friday afternoon to provide respite care for another foster family, which we accepted. [[Respite is just where you have the kid for a short time and then they go back from whence they came.]]

There were so many things that I learned this weekend.

Such as:

{1} I am weak and completely need the strength of God.
{2} I am not alone on this journey through motherhood.
       - Josh was super supportive and helpful
       - My family did a great job of loving on Baby
       - Our friends who are already foster parents brought us over toys and a baby bath tub [[things we didn't have yet]] and a huge feast. When I tried to express my thanks, words fell short, but she smiled at me with a knowing smile and said "Jessi, being a mama is hard."
{3} You cannot show love to a child without becoming attached to them. It just doesn't happen that way.
{4} No matter how confident you go into the situation, being a mama has a way of breaking you down. [[Being up all night with a baby who won't sleep unless you're holding them? "No problem," thought my past, naive self. Boy was I wrong!]]
{5} Being a mama is not easy no matter how much you think you're ready for it.

Yesterday was the hardest part. Yes, harder even than the sleepless nights. We got a call in the morning from Baby's foster mom who said that plans had changed and we could drop him off that night instead of Monday, which had been the original plan. A small panic set in. I realized that I wasn't ready to give him up yet. But we packed his things anyway and headed over to their house. The family was super nice and had 3 other kids who they had fostered and then adopted. I felt a sense of peace fall over me as I realized that he was going back to a good situation and that I need not be worried for his safety. [[I was a little paranoid of me to think otherwise.]]

Josh and I walked back to our car and as soon as I got in, a wave of a million different emotions just hit me all at once. It was quite overwhelming. I experienced joy because we had had such an amazing opportunity to show love to this child and also that he was going back to a good situation. I experienced sadness because, honestly? I really wanted to keep him. He was just adorable, and happy all the time. And he had the sweetest little laugh that you will ever hear in your life. But, I also felt relief. This was a hard thing for me to reckon with. I was relieved to be able to go back to a normal schedule where I could sleep when I was tired, and eat food that wasn't cold. I experienced extreme guilt over my feeling of relief. Maybe I'm not ready to be a mom? I don't know. Maybe we're never really "ready" and just have to jump into it.

I still have a lot to process. This journey is a hard one and no matter how prepared you think you are to give a child up, the fact of the matter is, you're not prepared at all.

Thanks to those of you who have been praying for us and prayed for us over the weekend. We really felt God's hand in all of this, so your prayers are known and greatly appreciated.

Much love,

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