Monday, November 2, 2015

Would I Be a Good Mom?

It has been one of my biggest fears for quite some time that I wouldn’t make a good mom. I know full well that the high level of care I strive to provide for other people's children isn't something I could keep up 24/7.    

Even without children of our own for whom we are biologically or legally responsible, nannying for 10-11 hour days when my husband or other immediate family members have been sick, recovering from surgery, and/or in hospice care has pushed me to and sometimes beyond my limits physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

I have been reminded in many ways recently that I am the only person who has thought I would need to be perfect in any role. God doesn't expect or ask for perfection. He asks us to trust Him and love others. I still need to get way better at both of those, but He knows I'm at least trying. Lord, help me be open to Your will in all areas of our lives. You are all we really have, and You give us all we really need.

When I had my week back with the three silly sisters, Rainbow Dash asked me more than once when I was taking care of them if we have any children at home, though she knows the answer is no.  When she asked me again on that Friday, I told her that she knows the answer to that question already: we don’t have any babies at our place.  Her response: “but you have us!”  Yes, we do.  And for that, Kevin and I are truly blessed and grateful!

A co-worker asked me one day what Kevin and I think about having children.  Yes, I remember writing this blog post not too long ago:  Top Six Things Never to Say to Couples, Parents, or Caregivers, but this was a genuine inquiry with intent to listen, so we had a discussion about it. 

There was a butterfly flying around the playground while we were talking about foster care and the adoption option.  I couldn’t help but think of a dear Cursillo friend who adopted her daughter from China after a long, arduous journey.  Throughout the stacks of paperwork and years of waiting, the butterfly was a symbol of hope and promise for her.  It was a sign from heaven that her dream and deepest desire to be a mom would eventually come true.    

The idea of being foster parents scares me, because it would absolutely break my heart if we took care of a child then it was decided he or she would return to a bad situation.  I know that’s not what’s supposed to happen, but that too often, it still does. 

I experienced such a sense of loss after I stopped nannying for “my two little guys” that I had a significant period of mourning.  I can’t imagine how profound that would be after having a child live with us for any length of time. 

I’m apprehensive about adoption for a few different reasons.  One of them being that if it’s a local adoption, there’s a chance the parents could change their mind and want to raise the child themselves, which would be heart-wrenching.  Several friends who have adopted have had a very long, strenuous, expensive journeys (ones they know have been worth every second and every penny) to bring home their children.   

Kevin and I have talked about foster care and adoption, and we’re open to both.  Either one would be something God would have to put on our hearts and make us absolutely certain that’s what He is calling us to do.  Right now, we’re doing the best we can to get by and take care of each other while loving and nurturing the children God’s placed in our lives. 
God has brought about some major transformation over the past year (to read more about one aspect of this, see How and Why I Broke My Addiction to Sugar), so anything is possible as He continues to work in and through us.  In some ways, it’s been a relief that we don’t have kids when we’ve dealt with major health complications, the deaths of our parents and other family members, financial worries, car issues, etc.  

Working with kids and other adults who see how I am with children, I am frequently asked the questions: Do you have any children? (or when young kids ask): Are you a mommy?  The reflection I wrote called A Mother's Heart has given me some comforting aspects of mothering to think about and pray over.

Lord, lead us to be who You have called us to be and open our hearts to anything You call us to do that will bring You greater glory in time and eternity while helping others to experience the tenderness and compassion of your unconditional love. Amen. 

Please keep us and all couples who love kids but for whatever reason don't have any of their own at this point in your prayers. Thanks!
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