3rd Time.. and Forever
Tonight I am sick, I have a headache from foster care drama and somehow I have made it to 11pm.
As I stumbled back into her room to answer her cries for the 3rd time this evening, I rammed my shoulder into the wall, my eyes could not adjust to the darkness… almost like every time I was woke it got even harder to see clearly.
I miscalculated the distance and tripped over a book, ending up at the foot of the crib no where near the cries of my baby girl. With the glow of the baby monitor and once my eyes had adjusted, I was able to find my way to her side with ease. Now I could see what I could hear. There she was again, all crammed up into the corner of her bed with her butt up in the air and her arms tucked under her. The thumb that usually soothes her was trapped under her like she didn’t know how to move it. I tried to help her get comfortable without picking her up that time, but was not successful in my desperate attempts to calm her, so could return to my own bed.
I reached into the crib to pick her up and every harsh word her mother has spoken over me in the last court date came rushing in like a tsunami. Overwhelmed, I paused. She jumped, almost like she felt my hesitation.
How could she hate me?
How am I the bad guy?
What have I ever done to her?
My hurt heart reacted… If she could see me now… losing sleep… for her.
Recognizing the attempts of the enemy at my tired heart, I pushed aside the negative, distracting thoughts and reached into the crib to pick up her precious baby.
I scooped her soft and cuddly baby into my arms and followed the light out of the room, carefully so I didn’t trip or wake the other girls.
Her cries had turned to baby talk and her wiggles to snuggles. She was safe. Her big brown eyes staring into mine and smiling sweetly carried me away to my favorite place as a mother. Just me and my baby bonding and preparing our hearts for the years to come. As I allowed her to rest on my chest I wondered…
How hard is it to attach to a new momma?
How hard is it to hear one heartbeat for 9 months and relearn a new one 8 months later?
How hard is it to never know your mother, to start all over before you ever had a chance to begin where you were conceived?
She will not have answers to the questions or maybe never, but her body will always feel it deep inside. Pain this immeasurable rewrites the way we respond to everything in life. Trauma, experienced but too young to know the source.
With eyes pouring tears, a cough that won’t quit and a pounding headache, I picked up my phone and started to type these words.
None of this makes sense.
If I can stand on the mountain top and declare your love, I must learn how to declare it in the trenches too.
To answer the first round of questions tormenting my tired brain and heart….
She does not hate me, she just doesn’t know how to love me yet.
I will find a way through the years to make sure she knows she is loved too.
I am not the bad guy and neither is she. The enemy of our souls is seeking to devour and destroy.
Nothing. I’ve done nothing to her except care for her children and love her as well as I can.
If she could see me now, I would want her to see my tear stained face that pours out torrents of pain for her every day. I would want her to see how much I love her because I love her babies. I would want her to know that because I love her, I will love her children until I take my last breath. I would want her to see me scoop her baby up for the millionth time just like I was carrying my very own… with tenderness and deep respect for who she is and will become.
I would want her to see that even at my worst, I will still give my best to her children.
I would want her to see that my commitment I made to her family will be one I carry for the rest of my life.
Yet, the sound in her voice echoes in my heart. Etched into my memory, like a burn leaving a mark that I wouldn’t soon want removed or covered. Somewhere between anger and anguish, words packed with hostility and brokenness poured from within her. Lashing out at me, the woman caring for her babies, seems insane to attack me. I understand though, I would be angry too. Angry at myself, the woman my children chose to love, the system…. I would be devastated too as I faced the greatest loss I would ever know. I just wish she knew how much I love her too. I will never stop and for every day of her daughter’s lives, we will honor their mother’s memory and pray for her freedom from the bondage she chooses now.
“The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” Exodus 14:14 ESV