Guest Author: Sarah Michaels
I don’t think I could ever accurately find the words to sum up this picture. It’s pure joy and complete pain all in one.
This is my beautiful foster daughter. And let’s be real, when you agree to take in a 17 year old, you end up welcoming many of her friends, this one being her best.
Over the weekend we celebrated prom. Last month we celebrated her birthday. Before that, we celebrated our first holiday together. “Celebrate” is different in the context of foster care. As humbled as I am to have the opportunity to experience these milestones alongside her, my heart just aches for her…because I am not her mom and I will never be her mom. Her mom is not here right now but that is her story alone to share. What I can say is that I pray for the day she will be reunited again; I will gladly grieve the loss to celebrate the moment those two embrace. Until that day, I am her biggest supporter. I fight for this girl, which often means fighting WITH this girl because she is worth every bit of my energy.
There are hard moments. Parenting a traumatized child takes patience and grace and a whole lot of Jesus.
There are sad moments. Moments I stay up in my room crying by the stories that are being disclosed.
There are healing moments. Yes, that teen that is yelling at you, cursing, refusing to come home will, in fact, come home and when all you do is hug them at the door, that alone will break them into tears and they’ll tell you what’s really up.
There are funny moments. Oh if only you heard the sass in our house.
There are frustrating moments. Like did you really sit in the hall instead of going to class?
But friends, there are so many normal moments. Driving around blasting music, eating together, walking into town to get ice cream, laughing at movies, staying up late talking, the list goes on. And then there are special moments that top them all. Like two months of preparing my princess for her prom: dress, shoes, necklace, nail polish, you name it. So I choose to celebrate these moments, all while processing through my child’s deep inner pain that so often accompanies these celebrations.
Because she will always be worth it.
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