I have to admit that when you walked into the courtroom this week I felt a lump in my throat. I hadn’t seen you in nearly five months, and I knew that your presence would change everything – I just didn’t know how. My heart was pounding the whole time.
After the hearing, we waited outside the courtroom, and you walked right up to me. I knew right then that you are brave. You spoke with me openly and calmly about your life and your concerns for your little boy. The truth is, I’m not sure I could have been so kind to a woman who was raising my child instead of me. And I knew then that you are gracious.
You told me about your life growing up in foster care, and your fears for your son growing up in the same system. As we spoke we discovered that we grew up in the same neighborhood, frequented many of the same places and even attended the same high school.
I realized that the six degrees of separation between us was the loving nurture of a mother.
You never had the consistent support and unconditional love that I did. No one always put your needs ahead of their own. No one told you that you were valuable and worthy.
We lived in the same five-mile radius, and yet, grew up in different worlds.
I found myself wishing I could turn back the clock and be your foster mom.
I told you about how our family had fallen in love with your son. I showed you pictures, and we chatted about his development, getting his hair cut, and our recent trip to Disney World.
As I spoke, I marveled at how you have a little cleft in your chin just like the Sandman, and how your dimples deepen when you smile just like his do. There is no denying he is a part of you, and he always will be.
By the end of our conversation, you expressed that you wanted us to adopt the Sandman. That’s when I knew you are selfless. I prayed with you and we hugged, and then we parted ways. I won’t hold it against you if you went home and changed your mind. It is definitely a decision I would never be strong enough to make, and we will see in the days and weeks to come what you ultimately decide to do.
But no matter what happens, I am thankful that Jesus showed up on the bench outside the family courtroom that day and created an unlikely connection.
I am thankful that now I can tell the Sandman in confidence that his mother loved him and did what she believed was best for him – that you were the best mother you could be for him under the circumstances.
And because he is a part of you, you will always be a part of us.
Wishing you a gentle Mother’s Day with Love,