A Love Letter to Single Foster + Adoptive Moms
Dear Single Foster & Adoptive Mom,
You are my hero. You're a hero to me. You're a hero to the community or church or family around you, watching you. You're a hero to the children in your home, being loved by you. You're a living, breathing, real-life super hero.
I had a rough week. My children all came down with the puking-pooping-feverish plague and, to boot, my husband was away for work. But you know what? He came home. And when the plague hit me, he was there to pick up the slack. My fellow married mamas and I may sometimes (incorrectly) refer to being a "single mom" for the week in an instance like this. Shame on us. We know nothing about single-motherhood. We know nothing about the strength and faithfulness and resilience you embody to walk this journey as the sole parent.
I think it probably takes a foster/adoptive mom to know just how extraordinary you are. The physical and emotional and practical demands of this life are heavy. So heavy that two sets of shoulders often struggle to hold their weight. And there you stand, carrying it on your own. You are truly "clothed with strength." (Prov. 31:25)
Maybe you are surrounded by people who carry and support you. You are blessed to have them. But, also, they are blessed to have you--a shining example of what it means to lay down your life for someone else, a bright example of sacrificial love. Your family and friends are better because you are in their lives, living and loving this journey in front of them.
Maybe you are surrounded by people who aren't exactly supportive. Maybe someone has said to you--or even just made you feel--before: "You need to figure it out, you chose this." Exactly. You chose this. That is what makes you a hero. What kind of woman chooses to upturn her life, to give up the freedom and independence that her fellow single women enjoy for someone else's children? A hero. You have chosen to take on all the burdens (and joys, yes) of motherhood. You have chosen to sign up for Friday nights in, to play the role of mom and dad, to create family for a child who needs it.
Maybe you don't feel like a hero. Maybe you feel weak and desperate. That, dear mama, is a beautiful place to be. For it is there that grace is most available to you. I pray that you run to the arms of the Almighty God. In Him is available to you forgiveness for your failings, comfort for your sadness, strength for your weakness, and love for your weary soul.
One of my favorite verses for mom-hood comes from the words of a husband to his wife. But they're not just a husband's words. They are grateful children's words, they are a pleased Heavenly Father's words, and, for what it's worth--they're my words to you as well: "Many women do noble things. But you surpass them all." (Prov. 31:29)