I've had the honor of being a mother to Baby A for the past five weeks. These weeks have been the most sleep deprived, deeply in love moments of my entire life.
A lot of our day is filled with normal baby and mama stuff. Filling bottles. Singing to him. Getting pooped on. Walking around the neighborhood trying to get him to fall asleep. Staring at him in wonder.
And then parts of our day are very different.
We see social workers. We receive court documents. We take him to get assessed. We fill out paperwork. We see more social workers.
I was in a store a few weeks ago and a few of the women asked me about my son. He was so small and I was so upright and slightly together. "Did you just give birth?" As we talked more I started to explain that my husband and I were foster parents and would someday adopt. Maybe Baby A, maybe not.
One of the women looked at me and asked "Should you get so attached?"
I was taken aback. The answer is an absolute yes. This is a tiny little boy with nowhere to go. I'm a thirty four-year-old woman with every ounce of support in the world. Family. Enough money. A job. Sobriety. White privilege. A yoga practice. A relationship with God.
Every day when I wake up I tell Baby A I'm going to do my best. And my best, surprisingly enough, has him sleeping soundly, relaxing in my arms, gaining lots of pudgy rolls around his belly and chin. My best is just what he needs and I'm so attached to him I'd give him anything he asked for.
A woman came by the other day to "assess him." She asked what my goal for Baby A was.
What do you mean?, I asked.
Anything. Anytime. What's your goal for him?
My eyes filled up with tears. I want him to feel beyond safe, empowered, kind and know that he could do anything he wanted to with his life. I want him to help others.
God, I want that so much that my heart explodes when I picture it.
But here's the kicker, my friends - Nothing is certain. We don't know if Baby A will be with us forever. We won’t know for some time. This is the nature of foster adoption. We have tidbits of information that we honor and take in but then go back to the job of loving him with all we have.
He is our family, for life. Whether or not I get to watch him take his first steps or sing in a school play or go to his first dance or receive his diploma. He is in our hearts forever.
There are souls that are meant for us and they make their way to us exactly as they are supposed to. This path chose us. It was written. I know that I sat in that fertility office and heard that news so that I would go home and make a call that would change me forever. There was a little soul that needed to make his way to us and that's Baby A. And I know there will be more souls that are coming our way. We are so fortunate to receive them.
We meet the people who will change us. Our partner, our best friend, someone who wrongs us and teaches us how to grow. And then there's these angels. Whether they make their way to us through the birth canal or a phone call or an adoption pairing. They are meant for us because they will change us. It doesn't matter how they get here. What matters is that we know them and through loving them we are forever transformed.
Nothing is guaranteed. It’s all impermanent. And that's so scary. Our mind doesn’t like that so we grasp and hold so tight and try to control. My future is uncertain and so is yours. I'm just living with it in front of my face every single day.
Little man, I have never ever known a love like this. You've given me a purpose as deep as the sea and as vast as the sky. I am cherishing every breath because of you.
Now all we can do is love and trust and lean into the present.
“When you open yourself to the continually changing, impermanent, dynamic nature of your own being and of reality, you increase your capacity to love and care about other people and your capacity to not be afraid. You're able to keep your eyes open, your heart open, and your mind open. And you notice when you get caught up in prejudice, bias, and aggression. You develop an enthusiasm for no longer watering those negative seeds, from now until the day you die. And, you begin to think of your life as offering endless opportunities to start to do things differently.”