Mothering is an incredible and amazing job. It is an honor.
I have had the fortunate experience of mothering many children.
My sisters are twins and they were premature. One of them came home from the hospital after a week long stay. I can picture the 70's brown rough feeling couch that I was sitting on and I can see the layout of the room, where the small tv sat on a little table. I remember it was a bright sunshiney day when my parents placed that beautiful baby in my tiny four year old arms. As they placed this miniature baby, our new miracle, into my arms, they reminded me that my other sister would be coming home soon. I remember the gigantic smile that filled my face as I held that baby and looking at my parents and said, "One for you and one for me." I felt such a bond with my sisters right from the very beginning.
As life worked out for us, I was very much their caregiver right from the beginning. I still feel, 30 years later that they were my first babies. I feel so proud when they accomplish things and so protective of them. I ache for them when they hurt and I celebrate with them when they accomplish things, birth their babies, and the like much like a mother does.
I have not always been a perfect sister but I have always loved them with a perfect love.
Six years ago, I birthed my first child. That moment changed my everything, as becoming a mother changes every woman. I would forever be a mother from that moment. One can never explain to someone else just how it feels to birth a baby, to know that God created life through you, that your body is so very powerful.
When Allori was a year and a half or so, Wayne and I felt it was a good opportunity to start doing foster care. We had talked at length about it and timing was good. After many hours of training, heaps of paperwork and references from everyone we had ever known and background checks in every state we had ever lived in (I do not exaggerate) we welcomed our first two foster children into our home.
When foster children are delivered to your home, you are generally given very little information and no supplies. These sisters came in the middle of the night. Juliana, the older sister had on a too large pair of sweat pants. Nothing else. Jena had on a diaper and a too large-very filthy t-shirt. It was the middle of the night. They had just been scared out of their wits. Somehow they fell asleep in the police car and I carried them to bed. They woke up in a strangers home. No one told us they spoke Spanish, but not English. The first word that Juliana said to me was, "Bano." (Banyo) She said it several times over the course of a half hour or so. I finally called Wayne and asked what it meant. "TAKE HER TO THE BATHROOM!" LOL
They had a great father. Well. He became great. We knew they would be going home at some point. He worked very hard to learn to be a good father. He became a part of our family. But I tell you, when we packed them up and loaded their belongings into their father's truck, I wept like a baby. After a year, I was their mother. I was the only mother they remembered. The mother they loved. The mother who loved them. I wept. I was sad but I was grateful to have been their mother for a while. And I was grateful that they were going home to a safe place.
Twelve foster children later the knock at the door brought the cutest little curly haired boy ever! We fell in love with him. We never intended to adopt although we were open to it. That was not our goal in doing foster care. We wanted to provide a safe home to children while their parents learned to be better parents for them. We knew with this little boy's history that he very well may be adoptable at some point. He is now a part of my forever family.
Eighteen months ago I birthed my third child. This boy, who I "knew" was going to be a girl has surprised and delighted us (and driven us mad!) every step of the way. After he got home from his four month hospital stay I told him that he had given me my first silver hair and he had scared and worried me enough to last his whole life through and that I expected his toddler and teenage years to be a breeze - that I had already put in more than his share of worry and prayers and such. Fourteen months later I have discovered/remembered that our trials simply prepare us for what is to come. This little tyke will be providing many more silver hairs and promises to give me a run for my money/energy/patience, etc. etc. etc.
A few months ago my sister, Terah had her first baby. My sweet little Porter called Terah's belly by the babies name for months. He would gently hold her tummy and talk to "Madison." When Madi was born I was explaining to him that the baby had come out of her tummy and asked if he remembered when mama had a baby in her tummy?
"Who was in mama's tummy?"
It was Cayde of course that I was referring to. I absolutely love that Porter thinkt he grew in my tummy. I am sure at some point we will have to address that but for now I love it. I have worried about making sure that he feels as loved as our other children, that he feel just as much a part of this family as every other member. Looks like we are doing ok so far.
I feel so very grateful to be a mother...to be Porter's mother and also to be a mother to these precious babies and to have had the opportunity to mother so many children. It is the most challenging job I have ever had. The pay is terrible but the benefits are to die for.
Thank you, Heavenly Father, for all these babies you have blessed me with.