The teacher stood up & read it. A poem so right for those starting school. All about firsts - first movement in the womb, first steps, first words, giggles, first day at school. As I listened all I felt was sadness. I have no memories of those times with him. One mother grew him, someone else taught him to walk, another words. There are no records of any of his firsts. I had to throw that page out of his memory book because it was empty. It's just not fair.
I felt dreadfully out of place in that school library full of excited parents. It shouldn't have been me sitting there for this precious little one. It should be his mother. She should be the one buying uniforms & packing lunches, giving kisses & getting hugs. I should be just another stranger, but instead I am the one he calls 'Mum'. She goes by another name.
For me the emotional side of foster care is very hard. The sadness for both the children who aren't cared for & the parents who cannot do the caring bears heavily on my shoulders. While I love our two precious new ones & am honored to be able to love & care for them, I know that I will never fully fill the mother role in their life. I think of her often - their bio mother. I feel like I am sitting in on what should be her life. Birthdays are hard as I prepare the cakes that she should be preparing. Exciting achievements always make me think of what she's missing out on. The hugs, the kisses, being the one who they come to - this role she should be filling, yet I am. I feel sad for our shared children who so desperately want to have been born into my family. Anyone who says foster care is easy fools themselves. It is undoubtedly the hardest & the saddest road that I have traveled, yet it is definitely the most worthwhile as well.
We're well past the six months of our long-term placement and it's all beginning to feel a little more achievable. We've lost the 'deer in the headlights' look that marked those first few months. The little things that at first were overwhelming are now easy. We can now usually gauge how the children will react in a given situation & come up with an achievable plan to counteract any difficulties we may face . And they are acting more & more the way we want them to act. They are understanding our priorities & are taking them on board as well. They are really becoming a true part of the family.
It's been an interesting experience adding two hurting children to our family. Being a blessing is not always going to be an easy road. But in return we have been doubly blessed to have these two precious children who were strangers become family!