A Letter To My Foster Daughter’s Mom

I will never forget the first day I saw you.

The doors opened and I walked in with your daughter. I think it had been almost two weeks since you’d seen her. You wouldn’t make eye contact with me. Your head hung, in shame? In anger? I don’t know for sure but I knew you were hurting.

You’d done or not done things and now your little girl was with a stranger and you didn’t know how I’d already been praying for you. You didn’t know my family and that our goal was to see you succeed. You didn’t know yet that we’d fight in prayer for your little girl.

I didn’t know all the reasons we’d met but I knew for sure you loved this girl. There was no doubt in my mind. I knew that if I had ever found myself in a situation like yours I’d hope someone would show me love and so I did.

The next time I saw you was in a dull brown courthouse, sitting on hard benches, in a space packed full of attorneys, caseworkers, security guards, and a judge in a black robe.

I passed down an envelope of pictures I had taken of your sweet girl, I never want there to be missing moment for either of you. Tucked inside, almost tossed with the envelope was a letter I had written. I watched you open it and begin to read. I watched you wipe away tears in the midst of the room and in that moment there was nothing else there.

Just you and me. Two women who loved the same little girl. One who bore and raised her and one who was mothering her for a season. Our differences shrunk, and all I saw was a human being who’d landed in a place she probably never imagined and a chance to extend the kind of lavish grace that has been poured out for me through Jesus.

Our eyes met and you said thank you.
You began to talk with me like we were friends and asked if we needed anything to help care for your daughter. We were a team. Our goal was the same, to reunite the two of you no matter how long it took.

Here we are, over a half a year later beginning the reunification process. Tonight you made our family cookies during your first full day together in over 7 months.

Grace exchanged with grace.

I just finished bathing your daughter.
I put her in warm comfy jammies and sat next to her while she ate her dinner.
She leaned her head on my shoulder and said what we say to her often

“I love you.....No matter what.”

We can do these hard things.
We can show up when it’s hard.
We can see people as God sees them.
We can be faithful even if the outcome doesn’t wrap up in a pretty bow because sometimes it’s more about what God is doing in you than what He is doing through you.

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