to my kids who aren’t my kids

I’m joining Rachel’s linky party today by writing a Mother’s Day letter to my kids – well, to two of them anyway.  You’ll have to pretend for a bit that we’re in England though because it’s Mother’s Day a tad earlier on that side of the Atlantic – March 30 actually.  So, in honor, I’m writing this in a British accent.  You’re welcome. Now, budge up!

To my littles,

There are things I can say to your sweet faces that I can’t say in this space because you float here. You are ghost-like and unreal online. Images of you never land on Instagram, Facebook, or this blog.  It echoes our reality together: you here, maybe forever, maybe only a while longer, definitely for now. This is foster care.

You’re mine in some ways. You’re mine to mother-smother with kisses, dont’s, cookies, and love. I’m yours to scream awake every 2 a.m. But you’re not mine too. Your big brown eyes and face-splitting smiles created by others are not like my freckled, fair skinedness at all. You come with tendrils that tie you back to another life, another family. And really, not just one family. Ours was not your first surrogate home. This is foster care.

You might slip away, might fall through the cracks of my clutching fingers. Wherever you land, I hope it is soft and you are strong. Your future is uncertain. Will you stay or will you go? I try not to wonder. I’m just glad for this British Mother’s Day moment with you and if I never get another American Mother’s Day moment, this moment is enough. It is what I want lining up perfectly with what I have.

You were meant to be together. You knew it from the beginning.  You find the rhythm of the other’s breathing comforting. You equally torture and love each other as you contract and expand, hover then flee.

You are one and two years old.  And you are all of those: walking, tripping, jabbering, stubborning, exploring, breaking, learning, reaching, expanding, loving, bungling, accomplishing.

You are the same. Oh, those brown eyes! Your sweet, soft skin. Your teeth-filled grins. Your chubby, but growing lean frames. Even your diaper size!  In fact, the way you synchronize the filling of said diapers is a thing for scientists to explain.

I’m the woman on the sidelines of your love for each other, the one who smiles biggest when you hug and kiss each other, the staunchest defender of the rightness of your togetherness, the one who tries to figure it out every time you both want “up” at the same time (which never fails to be when I’m cooking – what’s up with that?).

My dreams for you are simple right now. Right now, I want you to be kind, learn things, giggle, lean into love, listen, grow, and finish your breakfast (for the love!). I know from mothering your biggest brother that my dreams for you will expand as your inches climb the wall of our height-marking spot in the kitchen. I’ll want you to do all of the above and also love reading, know your strengths, never encounter impossible, know God, choose wisely, and squeeze effectiveness out of every drop of your potential. Probably some other stuff too. If you’re still here, I’ll tell you then.

What a gift to have you for this moment, to watch you become you, to hold your hand and guide you through the exploration of toddlerhood. Relearning to parent littles has stretched me like the old rubber band I am. I’m admittedly crackling a bit. My stretch marks aren’t visible but believe-you-me, they are real. I’m kinda mad about the sleep thing but I’m trying to understand it’s no picnic for you either. I had to look up Tony Chestnut on YouTube because no child of mine will ever be three without having heard it a million times. I’m getting better about navigating naptimes, routines, and grocery stores. I’m letting go things that get in the way of us-time.

This. This us-together for now? This is my favorite. You amaze. You breathe in and out. And I get to watch. And I get to breathe my own in and out by your side! This. This moment is magic.

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4 thoughts on “to my kids who aren’t my kids

  1. Oh, this was gorgeous. Thank you so much for joining in, and for doing it so, so exquisitely. Being the foster mother of little children is incredibly brave and selfless – I applaud you, I really do. Thank you again!

    PS, if you get time, would you mind entering the URL of this post into the Linky Tools at the end of my post? You click on the ‘Click here to enter your link’. Then I can keep them all together.

    PPS, Happy British Mother’s Day! Your English accent was perfect 🙂

    Rachel x

  2. Breathtaking, beautiful, so much love.If I ever wondered what my foster parents thought when they had me for the time they did, this is it. I still love my foster parents and enjoy reconnecting with them. I love your posts. You really are my hero, doing something I’ve always wanted to do. I applaud you and your big amazing heart. Love this!

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