Adoptive Mom is a badge I wear proudly. I am proud of the story that God weaved (and is weaving) together to form my family. I am proud of the hard work that went into creating this amazing family I call mine. However, sometimes that’s not what I see for myself. Adoptive mom, Biological mom, Foster mom, ect. There are SOO many labels to preface mom with that sometimes I forget that the most important part is the MOM part.
This week has been REALLY hard. Preston is sick and has been for 7 days. With multiple ER trips and no definitive answer as to what is going on Joel and I are focusing more in easing his pain and discomfort and being there when he needs us. This has resulted in shift work parenting. I take most nights and Joel takes days and we switch when we need to. I am so thankful to have this amazing man to help carry this burden of parenting that feels just a bit heavier when we have a sick little one! Having a sicky sick face kid pulls on ALL my mom heart strings. One night, around 11pm when Joel ran to Walgreens for some drinks and snacks that Preston could tolerate, I was snuggling with my boy and at a complete loss for what was wrong and how to fix it. As a parent you want to fix it and take away the pain and all I could do was be with him and snuggle for a while. I mean he didn’t even want a popsicle! (He did say that he wanted it when his stomach was nice again though! 🙂 ) As I sat there confused and worried, I practically subconsciously reached for my phone and called my mom. My mom who was hours away and maybe sleeping. My mom who quickly answered and offered a listening ear and some support.
It was at that moment that it hit me. I don’t want to be an “adoptive mom” I want to be a “2am phone call mom”. I want to be the kind of mom that so fills up her kids with love and support that they automatically reach out to me when they need something. That they know without a shadow of a doubt that I will be there for them anywhere, anytime. The kind of mom where they don’t worry if I will be upset or mad or if they will get in trouble, but they know that should there be consequences we will deal with them together, as a team. That even if they made a horrible choice, I will without thinking come and help and we can deal with the rest later. That’s the kind of mom I strive to be. The kind that stay up all night with a sick boy who only wants to snuggle. Who listens to ENDLESS pre-teen drama and helps sort it out. Who encourages kids to find their own solutions, but will be there should they need some options.
I am so lucky and thankful to have many MANY people I could call in the wee hours of the night that would help, listen, advise, and support. I have countless friends and family that I often lean on for support. But in those moments when you are at the end of your rope, tired and confused, feeling inadequate and hopeless you just want your mom. You want to reach out to a person you felt safe with when you were small and sick or scared.
That’s the mom I want to be. That’s the relationship I hope and pray that I am cultivating in my children. I want them to know that no matter how horrible or hard or confusing or just stressful things are they ALWAYS have someone in their corner, even if it is just to listen. That’s the reason I give my all to this thing called motherhood. That is what is so heartbreaking when I think of unadopted kids in foster care. That sense of security and a home base, that is more of a person that a place really. That belief, that is of VITAL importance, that you are loved and cared about. That belief that is so ingrained you have no reason to doubt or question it. I missed out on building that belief from conception and early childhood. To build that from scratch starting at age 7, or 5, or 3 is more challenging then I would have guess, but it is also more important that I would have dared to believe.
So every late night, every tearful conversations, every brainstorming of solutions, every advocating for them is for this purpose: That my children not only “know” but believe in their innermost core that they are loved and cared for and that I will be there for them NO MATTER WHAT.