If you have been through the fostering classes you will remember that the instructors will take you through material – paper and video – that are titled “A foster parent’s perspective”. They do this to ready you and make the unknown known. Under normal circumstances, I (Corey), try to take all of Andrea and my thoughts and put them into a blog for us to track and for friends and family to follow. This time around I feel pretty hard-pressed to share what I am seeing. So, this is my attempt to be transparent in what I’m seeing as a foster dad. Thus, you could call it a “Foster Dad’s Perspective”. Here we go.
The level of sacrifice that is necessary for fostering is completely off the charts. I mean, we think about foster parents making sacrifices – schedule, discipline, money, etc. but I did not consider the level of sacrifice that everyone else has to make. Now, if you know me, or if you have seen me preach, this would be the time I would bust out a white board and start writing/drawing poorly for the masses to see. I do not have a whiteboard so this will be my poor attempt to explain via text what I’m trying to say.
Today I want to talk about my Baby Momma.
When I first met bio mom I did not know how to respond. You are sitting in a room the size of a jail cell waiting on this mystery figure to show up. What will she look like? What will she say? What do I say? What if she hates me? It is kind of like a blind date, but when they show up you are holding their baby. Think about that for a minute. I did not know what to do when she finally showed… so, I gave her a hug. What else do you do? If you are awkward, uncomfortable, and not sure what to do with your hands, you hug her. I hugged her.
When I told Andrea that I hugged bio mom she was like, “really?”. To which I joyfully responded, “THAT’S MY BABY MOMMA, OF COURSE I HUGGED HER!” I imagine she does not get a lot of hugs. She probably gets a lot of judgement. She probably gets a lot of doubt, fear, anxiety, tension, but hugs… I do not see her getting a lot of hugs.
The level of sacrifice my “baby momma” makes is incredible. Stay with me here. I am not talking about her not having her baby. While that is a sacrifice it is really just a shallow portion of her sacrifice. She is having to sacrifice everything. Her worldview, behaviors, thoughts, natural/biological wiring, etc. While most people would say, “That’s what she should do.” Those people are missing the point. Imagine having to rewire your brain at a neurological level. This is what she is having to do. That takes sacrifice. That requires you to take every thought captive. Christians are commanded to do this, and we fail at it everyday. She is having to take every single thought captive, evaluate it in a fresh way, and then make a decision.
Her brain has been wired to respond to ever situation a certain way. While you might not agree with the response there is nothing you can do about it. Years of experience have lead to this moment. No one woke up and said, “Today I would like to hand my baby to someone else.” Years of story have been woven together to bring us to this point. Which means, years of sacrifice must happen for a stable and healthy relationship to emerge.
Think about it like this. If you are into the outdoors or if you have ever been on a hike through the woods, how do you know where to go? Well, you look for the path most traveled. You look for where there is dirt instead of grass, weeds, brush, etc. You take the path that everyone else has taken. Rarely, do you show up with your friend or dog to go on a hike and say, “Lets walk through all those thorns over there and create a new path.” My baby momma, strong woman that she is… she is walking through the thorns.
She is taking huge steps of sacrifice to rewire all of her behaviors at a neurological level. She has responded the same way for so long that the dirt path is easy. The dirt path most traveled is readily available. Everything in her says, “I know this path.” Everything in her also says, “I know where this path leads me.” It is dark and scary and the same results. She is having to fight to believe there is a better path. A path that is full of hope and reward. Imagine trying to find hope when your story tells you there is no hope. Faith alone becomes a sacrifice. Now, she is having to show up and say, “I will go through the thorns, I will push through the brush, I will make a new path.”
She is having to fight temptations, routine, relationships, drive, and so much more. Decisions have lead her to sacrifice time with her baby, true. Now every single decision that has been easy is being sacrificed to get back to her baby, also true. That’s intense. Her sacrifice is so much more then, “Of course that is what she should do.” That response comes from a heart that does not understand struggle. Her level of sacrifice, in my opinion, once fully grasped, actually far exceeds the level of sacrifice of anyone else.
She is strong, courageous, bold, and she my baby momma. I am for her, and even if Andrea and I are the only ones, we see her sacrifice. Here is something that I never thought I would realize. It is actually in bio mom’s sacrifice that we are driven to sacrifice for her and her baby. She is leading us in ways she will never understand.
Every relationship requires sacrifice. Andrea and I sacrifice for one another. As a dad I sacrifice for my kids. As a pastor I sacrifice for Heights. Every relationship requires sacrifice. You cannot have relationship without being willing to walk the path less traveled. Jesus sacrificed for us. He took the path that no one else was willing to take to gain us. He went against the grain of society, they placed the thorns on his head, and he was literally sacrificed for me. We are simply called to model what has been modeled to us through Jesus. Imagine that. In doing so we lead, we change, we grow.
So, pray for my baby momma. We need you to be for her, and for reunification. Who knows…maybe she will lead you as well?
Thanks for walking with us through the process.