I’ll never forget the way the her questions echoed fear in my new mamma heart, “But what about your biological baby? What if all of this is too stressful on your pregnancy? What if you can’t give her the love and attention that she needs because you have other children in your home? What if she gets hurt in the process?” I was about 25 weeks pregnant with our daughter and simultaneously chasing around our 12 month old foster son. I was working full time as a nurse and I’ll admit, I was frazzled. I was weary, worn and full of doubt. The questions began to stir fear in my heart. I began to listen to the lies – What if I cannot care for both of these kids? What if this is ‘unfair’ to my newborn, biological child? What if the stress and anxiety is too much?! March came and our daughter was born. I remember that it was painfully hard. It was a daily surrender and a season of struggle. But guess what? We did it. And now, three years later both of my babies are THRIVING. My foster son is now adopted and I forever get to call him son. My daughter is spunky and fierce thanks to having a big brother.
Three years ago I didn’t know how to respond to all of the questions. Three years ago I was a brand new mom full of doubts and fears. Fear of raising my babies wrong. Fear of not loving them enough. Doubt that I was the very best mom for them. Here’s the thing. Jesus has grown me into a much more confident mamma. Sure, there are daily concerns that creep into my thoughts as we again go down the road of foster care (spoiler alert: we will probably do the crazy cycle of both a biological baby and a foster kiddo simultaneously). However, this time around this mamma can slap those questions and fears in the face with some confidence. Here’s what I believe and I know to be true: Jesus has called me to this. He has not given me a Spirit of fear but of power and love. His perfect love casts out all fear. For whatever reason, Jesus choose me. My family, my husband and my kids to foster other kiddos. He didn’t promise me a road of ease. But he did promise to wire me with an unshakable and fearless spirit. And if He called me to it, I know he will not leave me unequipped.
So, let me debunk those fears that young mamma three years ago needed to hear. You can do this and you aren’t doing it wrong. Just because your motherhood isn’t conventional doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong. Just because I have extra chaos and kids in my home doesn’t mean anyone is getting left out. In fact, I’d beg to argue just the opposite. That my kids are now gifted with the ability to see the gospel more fully. That they learn to call out to a God that loves them infinitely more than my earthly, motherly love could carry them. That if I would have let fear and doubt control my actions I wouldn’t be looking my son in the face our my daughter and her spunky personality. If you’ve been called to foster care, stand up firmly and confidently because you were made for this. You were made for the extra chaos. You were created with the capacity to love deep. You were wired to share a love that’s wide, never meant to be kept within the lines of a conventional family. You were created to balance the biological,adoptive and foster care world. So keep on keepin’ on and tell those fears and doubts to take a backseat because they aren’t true. Know that you can walk in confidence and a whole lot of grace for your unconventional motherhood journey.
Katie, this is beautiful and hit right on the money. Thanks for writing…keep going!
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