Write Your Heart Out - Guest Series: Julie'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.
To the Mother of my babies:
I never would have imagined sharing my children with another woman. It’s not really how I pictured my family when I was a naïve little girl. I bet it isn’t how you pictured yours either. This bond we share is difficult to put into words. As I write this message, it has been almost 6 long months since I last saw you face-to-face…through the glass. It has been 8 months since our last heart-to-heart on the phone, and nearly 11 months since you saw our babies. My heart breaks for you. For us.
So much has happened in this year. He turned one and began walking and talking. She is three now and growing more and more beautiful, both inside and out, with each passing day. Many things have happened, but among the heaviest, your parental rights were terminated, and ours (Lord willing) are about to begin. It is overwhelmingly difficult and simultaneously heart wrenching and joyous.
Those who don’t understand, frown or shake their heads. They wonder how can parents not WANT their children? How can ANYthing be more important than your children? How could someone DO THIS to a child. I don’t fault them for their questions, but thanks to the Lord’s grace in my life, I found most of my own questions replace with compassion many months ago. I do see the facts. I understand the silent, bewildered head shakes, and I know their silence would break into outrage if they knew the details we know. I cry when I hear it recounted. To realize the depth of what took place and the danger our children were in is mind-boggling.
I can’t say I’ve never been angry with you for it, but anger fades quickly when I look beyond the facts to see you. You – their birth mom. Their first mom. The “right” one (as she once referred to you). You – the friend that I bonded with over long phone calls and frequent texts. The soul I plead to the Lord for Every. Single. Day. You – the other half of my motherhood.
You will carry the weight of brutal consequences for your lifetime. I will carry the weight of our children’s emotions and future heartbreak as they grieve the loss of their first family and celebrate the love of their forever family. I hope we can carry some of that together. I hope they can know you, someday.
In the meantime, I know that your heart breaks, your eyes flood with tears, and you long to hold the sweet babies I will be holding. I’m sorry for your hurt and your loss. I will hug and kiss them twice as much, knowing that two Mommas love them - with all that we are.
Written By: Julie. You can read more from Julie at her blog, Fostering-Grace.