by Sarah Burdan
The other night I got a phone call from a friend. She and her husband had gone though an agonizing process of applying to adopt hard to place children. After all the paperwork, processes and trials she received a call and a little girl and baby boy were dropped off at her place a few days ago. The children had just been taken by CPS from their mother. They were terrified. She called me thrilled to have children and heartbroken at how sad they were. She called me for advice. I showed up at her house and spent the evening helping her with the basics- what clothes needed, supplies, and every tip I could think of in a crash course of the first 24 months of a child's life.
The little ones were crying and desperate to be held. My heart broke for them, innocent victims of a irresponsible parent. It took a tremendous amount of comforting to get them to sleep. We walked, sang, held, fed and created shopping lists for all the things they would need. I watched my friend go through the nine months of emotions in a night…the thrill, joy, terror, and heartbreak of having children. I walked through those emotions during my pregnancy and birth of my daughter and I was honored to get to escort my friend through a similar journey. It didn't matter what process we went through to have children, what matter was we had them. I watched her rock and sing to a baby that was thrust into her arms without knowing anything about the child. I have had the benefit of slowly learning the unique preference and tendencies of my child and it never occurred to me that when foster parents were given the children to watch over how little information they received about the kids. I never though through that when children were taken from their parents by CPS that the parents did not say what there children were allergic too, if they used a pacifier, what there favorite foods were, if they had a favorite blanket or toy, how they slept at night. All of things that I knew about my daughter, my friend had to discover through trial and error. I was in awe of her determination and the love she freely gave to these terrified little children.
Once they were asleep I hugged her and left. I was exhausted as I drove home, processing all the emotions and events of the night. I was honored to be apart of pouring life into a child and supporting my friend in such a memorable time. My eyes were opened to what a demanding and emotional job it is being a foster parent it. I have been through a difficult pregnancy, a week of pre-labor and 12 excruciating hours of birth. I have my battle scars of becoming a mother. Now, my friend has them as well… I saw her go through the labor and birthing pains of a mother…not the same as mine but just as real and just as intense as what I went through. I watched her pick up the children and I smiled at her…she was a mother. She smiled back at me with tears in her eyes and screaming children around her and my heart melted… 'Welcome to motherhood my dear friend, you will be a great mom.'
To all foster parents thank you for your love and sacrifice.