Lessons I Learned From My Daughter
The Experience of a Lifetime
Being a foster mom is the most challenging, rewarding thing I've ever done. There have been good days and bad days, smiles and tears along the way. It has changed my life forever and I think it's made me a better person.
In February 2010, I got the call from my licensing worker for a placement of a two week old baby girl. Of course, I immediately said yes. That was what I had dreamed of but didn't expect to happen as a single woman.
I spent the next twelve months taking care and loving this child, not knowing if I would get to keep her or if she would go home to her mother. Then two days before her first birthday, we stood in a courtroom as a judge pronounced her mine "as if she had been born to me". I'll never forget those words.
Even though she was only a year old and learning many new things every day, she was also a great teacher. She has taught me so many lessons about life and love.
She taught me the true meaning of unconditional love. Imagine having a helpless baby placed in your arms, dependent on you for everything. Love is immediate and it doesn't matter that you might not get to keep her. I couldn't lock my heart away from her, no matter what the future held.
She taught me to live for today instead of worrying about tomorrow. I had no control over what would happen in the future, so I learned to enjoy each moment with her. I took advantage of every chance to spend time with her, watching her sleep or play. I didn't want any breaks away from her because I never knew how limited my time with her might be. Every holiday was special not only because it was her first but because it might be our last together.
I also learned how to find good in people I might not like. I met her mother on the weekly visits and I was surprised at the compassion I felt for her. I could see that she loved her daughter but couldn't take care of her. Of course, there were times I felt anger, too, but I always believed that she cared about her child as much as possible. And I'm convinced that is why she was able to give her up. I'll always believe that there was good in her because she had such a wonderful baby and made the right choice for her.
So while my daughter is busy learning, she's also been busy teaching me to be a better person. And someday I'll have to thank her for that.