Can I be honest with you? There are many times I feel like a "real mommy;" like when I'm holding you, when I kiss you, when my heart squeezes in panic because I know you're sick...
But there are also many times in which I don't feel real; like when your birth parents are mentioned, when I get asked how long I'll have you, when I kiss you knowing that I'm kissing a baby that will never be mine.
I'm one day away from a retreat, a time of refreshing and soul searching. I'll get to see a lot of other foster mommies there, and I know that they'll see my heart, my fear, my real self... I treasure that.
And then there will be a lot of adoptive mommies there, too. As much as I love them, I have to admit that I don't get quite as excited about seeing them. You see, I'm jealous of what they have. Jealous of their permanency, their ability to travel out of state with their little ones without getting permission from 55 different people, of their promise of forever with their babies. I'm jealous that they don't have to worry about someone taking their babies away, that they don't have to sit in the family court waiting room every six months... I'm jealous of their forever.
Maybe one day it'll be my turn for forever. It'll be my turn to sign the papers and rejoice over the little one who has joined my forever family. But for now, I'll take the little joys that you give me.
The joy of seeing you smile when I open the car door and look at you in your car seat.
The joy of knowing you're okay, and that your illness that had me shaking in my boots was just a close call... Nothing more.
The joy of watching your eyes search the room for me when you hear my voice.
The joy of knowing that my arms, above all others, can quiet and calm you when you're upset.
The joy of seeing you explore facial expressions, your hands, and the things close to you.
The joy of seeing you keep an entire bottle down for the first time, or at any time.
The joy that I get every time you grab my finger with your tiny little hands.
The joy of seeing you smile sweetly in your sleep.
The joy of picking out bows for each of your outfits.
The joy of snuggling you to sleep.
The joy of seeing how brave you are in the face of adversity.
The joy of you.
You are a joy, baby girl. You will hear that every single day that you are with me. And I pray that you will hear that every single day after you're gone. You are a joy, not because of anything you offer, but because of who you are. You are amazingly crafted by a most loving Father, and every little part of yourself shouts praises to your Creator.
Thank you for being yourself and for bringing me so much joy.
I love you for always,