I shared this with a group of friends this morning in a private social site. I received a lot of encouragement to share this, so I am.
This morning, I am reminded of when my son was about 9 years old I went to a Women of Faith conference. One of the speakers was talking about prayer and how she prayed for the boy and girl that would someday marry her daughter and son. I came home from the conference with the determination to start praying for the girl who would be MY son's wife. It wasn't daily, but it was regularly that I would pray for that little girl's protection, health and spiritual place. About a year ago, I shared that story with his fiance, and big ole tears welled up in her eyes. She looked at me with those tears spilling over and told me, "That was the year, that was before I went into foster care!" I had a good ole girl's ugly cry over that.
she has not so good memories as well.
"Aging out of the system" and high school graduation put our girl into a tailspin that none of us anticipated. It was a time of pain for all of us. We didn't understand at the time that she was losing her foundation, being launched into the world without a safety net. We were ready and prepared to love her into our family, but I guess she either did not know that or had not come to trust it yet. We watched from afar as she floundered..loving her, needing her but having to be willing to lose her if that was the plan. It was our great happiness when she did come to trusting love and so began a time of restoration for all of us.
WE were able to model family, faith and love to this dear child. Nothing thrills her more than to be included in "family" things. Last Fall, she joined me for my sister's "Family Baking Day" - a family tradition of gathering together to bake Christmas goodies. She stood in that big kitchen, listening to us sisters bicker, tease and laugh with big eyes and a huge grin on her face. "I love being in a big family!" she told us. She loves family traditions, being a part of them and making memories in new traditions.
beautiful, loving and generous woman. She's the same young woman who just over a year ago, gently dressed my radiation burns and eased me into and out of shirts for the treatments. She prepared meals and made certain I rested and ate. She cared for me as a daughter would care for her mother. We bonded over Radia-gel, ice packs, banana pops and that whole wretched experience. Her heart melted into mine so tightly, I no longer knew where mine ended and hers began.