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Archive for September 25th, 2012

The funny thing about life is that we can come at it with our to-do lists and recipes for what the future is going to look like and rarely, if ever, does it turn out that way.  When I began the journey of fostering, whether I admitted it to myself or not, I had certain expectations of what it would look like, what I would be like, and how things would turn out.  Some of those expectations have been met.  Others still linger in the back of my mind and have become quiet prayers that I whisper in the night.  But there is a whole other set of life changes that I never considered when I began fostering.  I don’t think I ever stopped to think about how fostering would change me.  I wish I could say all the changes have been positive, but if you’ve been following my blog at all you know that I am imperfect and have responded poorly on many occasions.  There are so many days I feel the inadequacies of my maternal nature and give into the temptation to react rather than respond.  This is a change for me.  This was not on my list of expectations.  But there are other changes that have crept in ever so subtly that I wonder if I’m the only one that has noticed it.  A change like the ending of one season and the beginning of another.  Today I woke up and realized my whole house was chilled and the sun slept in longer than usual and the air felt crisp and clean.  When did this change start to occur?  How did I miss the subtle beauty that accompanies the ushering in of Autumn?  Sometimes we just miss a transformation because it happens so gradually and we live in it so closely that it somehow becomes a part of who we are and we morph right along with it.  This is what fostering has done for me.  I have slowly, almost without notice, morphed into a new person.  I have changed.

My outlook on life is so different than it was six months ago.  I am so much more content and happy and settled.  There are still things I long for and crave out of life, things I dream about and wish for, but the hunger for those things isn’t as strong as it used to be.  I don’t need “more”.  All that I want is sleeping in the room down the hall, tucked in under purple covers next to her teddy bear.  I don’t crave the busyness of life anymore.  I feel settled.  I get a strange satisfaction out of doing laundry and cooking meals and putting dishes away.  I like laying in the middle of the living room floor playing board games and laughing.  I don’t need to be entertained anymore.  I embrace the joy of the moment.  Petty disagreements and annoyances don’t bother me like they used to.  My feelings don’t get hurt as quickly and I’m not so quick to judge others.  I have learned to put myself into someone else’s shoes and see life from another perspective.

But the biggest way I have changed is in the way I carry myself.  I know it’s probably not noticeable to the outside world, but I have gained a confidence in who I am that I never thought I would find.  I have an inner strength that although it could rear it’s head when circumstances required it to, normally lay dormant beneath my shy exterior.  Not anymore.  I have been able to push through more and endure more and give more and do more than I ever dreamed I could do.  I have earned the love and respect of a person who doesn’t give it out very quickly.  And somehow, through her transformation, I have been altered too.  I don’t doubt myself as much as I used to or give in to others.  I am a fighter now.  It could be something as seemingly insignificant as confronting a co-worker or telling a doctor we demand to be seen.  It’s like once I started fighting I couldn’t stop.  I don’t mean in a “I’m going to beat you up” way but in a “This is the right thing to do and we’re going to get it done” way.  I finally understand why God has wired me the way He has and how all my quirks and idiosyncrasies were actually designed on purpose for this exact calling.

Somehow in becoming a foster mom I have learned who I am.  And I pray to God I’m helping my sweet kid figure out who she is too.  I’m hoping the lessons I’m learning at 30 are somehow making their way to her little eight year old heart.  I’m hoping together we will continue to change for the glory of God.

 

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