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Dear New Foster Mama,

There is so much to say. So much to know. So much to share. You finished all the paperwork, you set up a room, the very moment you have been planning for is here. I want to tell you it all, but I struggle to create words. I am sure you can relate, you probably find yourself in a space that words can’t capture the emotions you’re feeling, head’s up, that never goes away.

What I want you to know, first and foremost, when your first placement darkens your door, it won’t take more than one second to fall deeply and madly in love with this little person. Sit in that, let that be okay.

Here is what you might try to do, you might try to remind yourself that you're not the mama and this isn’t how it’s supposed to be. You are right. This isn’t how it is supposed to be, but here we are. And for right now, actually for the rest of your life, this little person will hold a piece of your heart. And mama, after the battle you’re about to fight for that little, that is how it’s supposed to be.

When you face your first hard day, when workers don’t seem to hear you, when behaviors are exposed, when the court’s plans differ from your plans, don’t lose sight of why you are doing this. Remember that, your hardest day is only a glimmer of the days your little is facing. Here is the thing. Not only is this battle something they didn’t ask for, it’s also something they don’t deserve. Nothing that little person did, landed them in your care, and if you can remind yourself of why you are doing this, you’ll remember it is worth all the hard days.

And on that note, smiles are always the goal. The weight is heavy, you can’t bring a story of heaviness, that comes in the form of a 35 pound, 4-year-old, freckled nose, little person, into your home and not feel the weight of that. Carry it for her for a while. Those moments of light and fun should always be your goal, capture as many as you can and hold them close and tight.

Now imagine being a parent, a stranger comes into your home, takes your child out of your arms, from everything they know- you know why, and you desperately wish you could do better… you have no idea where they are headed and you can still hear them crying and screaming, “Mommy, hold me!” The emotion in that is ridiculously overwhelming. You are going to know all the details, you are going to know all of the bad choices. Choices that you couldn’t even begin to fathom making, but Mama, show empathy. You see, we aren’t that different, us mamas. She loves her child, you will love her child. You want to know where the difference probably lands? Your people. You have people in your live that could help right your wrong decisions, someone to fall back on when things go wrong, people who are positive supports and will correct you when you start to get off course. You have an incredible opportunity to add support in her world. Trust me. You won’t always want to. It is not always easy. You will probably get burned. You will probably get hurt. But, when she sees that you are on the same team, when she realizes that you are going to love her child, AND her well, through this, it will make an incredible impact.

Lastly Mama, it’s so worth it. Again and again and again, worth it. Foster care is, by nature, was created by brokenness but the promise you can lean into is, God is ever faithful. He loves that little person more than you could even begin to fathom, lean into that truth. Psst… He also loves you more than you could imagine. He will strengthen and empower you through this. The days you feel like you simply can’t do this, press in, because Mama, I promise, it’s not always easy, but it’s always, 100% of the time, worth it.

Welcome to the club. You've got this Mama!


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