At 10 o’clock on a Friday night in July a county social worker brought me a 4 pound, 10 ounce, 3-week old baby girl.
To put that into context, the next time you’re in the grocery store pick up a 5-pound bag of sugar, cradle it, and remember that she was smaller than that!
4 years and 2 weeks of desire had culminated in this little bundle fast asleep in a car seat that was way too big for her. They’d rolled up towels and encircled her with them to keep her from sliding out. She was wearing a newborn-size, white dotted yellow onesie that was also way too big for her. After the social worker left I had a moment – I was terrified. But then I l picked her up and cradled her in my arms. I looked down at her and realized that she hadn’t flinched. She hadn’t cried. She wasn’t scared – she was just being her best baby self, and she trusted me. And I realized that I was worthy of her trust.
I sat holding her while I gave her a bottle – the first of what would be 2 oz every three hours, for the rest of my foreseeable future. She latched onto it and sucked it down. She knows what she’s doing. She knows how to be a baby – she’s been doing it for three weeks already. It was me who was brand new at this mama stuff. So I did what I always do – I prayed. I asked God to tell me what I had to do and the answer came immediately. You are both my beloved children. I was a child too! She and I were both God’s children and I trusted God to mother us both. It took the pressure off my head and my heart. I didn’t have to know ahead of time exactly everything I would ever need to know I only had to listen for direction. When it came to being a baby vs. a mama, she was smarter than me. She was listening and doing everything intuitively, I was the one who thought a book or a class or a mentor was the answer. Silly grownup.
I made a deal with her. Since she had three weeks’ more experience in her position than I did, I would always listen to her and follow her lead. If intuition worked for her, then it would work for me, too. And with that decision I lost my fear and stepped squarely into my Zone of Genius.
May is National Foster Awareness Month. If you have ever considered becoming a foster mama I would love to help you in your journey! And if someone you know has considered it, please forward this to her, ‘cause I’d love to help her, too!
What if it’s time for you to provide a safe, loving home for a child who needs and deserves one? What if it’s time for you to become a foster mama?
Right now, take a moment and affirm for yourself:
I have such an abundance of love that I have surplus to give!