Write Your Heart Out - Guest Post: Jenni's Story
I had never written anything for another person to actually read before. I thought it was presumptuous to assume that others would want to spend their precious time reading anything I had to say, arrogant to think I had anything to say in the first place. But a friend asked me to write down my story, so I panicked/nearly refused/complied and came up with "The Journey Into Foster Care." His request and affirmation built my confidence (read as: faith) to continue writing and to share my words with others.
After literally googling “how to start a blog,” I learned that after writing something, you're supposed to share it with other writers who have common interests. I shared my story with about five orphan care bloggers and pages I followed, then watched as something I never could’ve anticipated happened. They shared it with others and those others shared it with others and those others shared it with other others, until, within a week, somewhere around a million people had read my words.
This is when I learned how powerful sharing your story can be.
I walked around for a week with tears in my eyes as complete strangers shared how they were inspired to get involved in foster care, encouraged to stay the course with their current fosters, and curious about this Jesus I wrote of.
My story is simple and common and mediocre-ly written, but God used it.
All of this is the inspiration for this week’s series of guest posts from readers of Foster the Family. Some of them are writers and some are “just” moms, but they were all faithful to write and share their story with others and, eventually, with me. I want to give them the gift that others gave to me in sharing their words. But more importantly, I want to give you the gift of reading their words and entering their stories.
I have been a nurse for nine years and have worked on the same labor and delivery unit for my entire career. As you can imagine, after working somewhere for that length of time, my coworkers are like family. When I delivered our biological daughter, it was on my unit. Her birth story is extremely unique because she and I were cared for by my friends. One of my best friends, "Ms. Jenna" was her baby nurse, and her "Auntie Megan" was also working that night. They, along with many other coworkers, were able to meet and love on her shortly after she was born. I have such sweet memories to share with my daughter that are different than most people's birth experiences.
Several years later my husband and I were new foster parents. We had always discussed expanding our family through adoption, and we chose foster care/adoption to grow our family further.
One special and unique part of our adoption story is that both of our sons were born at my hospital as well. I did not know it at the time.
THEY WERE BORN TO A DIFFERENT WOMAN, BUT GOD WAS PREPARING ME TO BE THEIR MOMMY.
When I think about our boys' birthdays, there is sometimes a sense of sadness because we weren't together on those days. They have amazing adoption stories, and we always will celebrate each of our children's individual stories of how God brought them to us. However, there is still a small part of me that's sad leading up to their birthdays. It wasn't my arms they were placed into, and their daddy wasn't there to cut the cord. He couldn't carry them swaddled to me for the first time like their sister.
But they have a different story that only an all knowing God could orchestrate. My son was born in my hospital, on my unit, during my shift. I could've been working while he was born in the next room. I didn't meet him until 18 months later when he was brought into our house as our foster son with his 5 month old brother. My first memories of him are as a chubby, scared toddler with his even chubbier brother. He was not placed swaddled into my arms. He toddled into our living room & crawled onto our couch. The first few days he was more interested in my husband than me.
Our story is different then most, but it's our story. It's HIS story and I cherish it.
So, when I think of his birthday I am reminded we weren't together that day. I don't know if I was working the night he was born. But, when he was born I know, without a doubt, he was cared for and loved on. Even though he wasn't in my arms, God had him in my hospital. He was delivered on my unit and taken care of by coworkers that are family to me... and now him. That thought brings a smile to my face and comfort to my mommy heart. It's a part of both my sons birth and adoption stories that I can share with them to show how awesome our God is. We adopted our sons in October of last year. Lord willing, we'll have many birthdays to celebrate together.
WRITTEN BY: JENNI