When his loyalty isn’t with you: Being a foster mom

Being a foster mom brings so many challenges emotionally, physically, spiritually, financially and every other way you can think of.
I mean, being a mom in general comes with so many challenges.
But it’s a whole different ball game when you’re a foster mom.

One of the biggest challenges as a foster mom is this:
His loyalty isn’t with you.

Looking at this from the perspective of a mom, it’s exactly how I feel life should be.
I want for my kids to always be loyal to me.
But as a foster mom? It’s exactly the opposite of how I *feel* life should be.

See, I am the one up with little J in the night calming him from a nightmare.
I am the one cleaning his bed when there’s an accident in the night.
I am the one getting up early, getting meals, snacks, packing lunches, cleaning clothes, driving to school, and doing what a mom does.
I feel like I am the mom.
But he does not.
And I certainly can’t blame him.
He didn’t ask for his biological mom to stop doing her job and put him in the position of needing a fill-in mom.
He didn’t ask to be put in the position of needing to think about who he needs to be loyal to.
He didn’t ask. Didn’t ask for any of this.
But yet here he is.
Needing love, but not knowing he needs it.
Needing comfort, but not knowing how to even accept it.
Needing protection, but not sure if we are worthy of his trust.
It’s a tricky spot for him for sure.
Because I know we can be trusted.
But he does not.
And it’s a pretty big gamble on his part to give in and trust.
Because what if he’s wrong?
It’s this phrase that keeps coming back to my head that I have to remember:
I know we can be trusted.
But he does not.

So his trust isn’t with me. It’s with her.
And his loyalty isn’t with me. It’s with her.
His love isn’t with me. It’s with her.

And I need to keep doing my job regardless.
Loving. Protecting. Caring. Nurturing.
And I don’t get the natural responses to a momma’s love that I desire.
I get the questions of where mom is.
Of what mom is doing.
Of what he can get mom for Christmas.
Because his loyalty is with her. Not with me.
And he’s not thinking anything otherwise.

Foster parenting brings out a whole different side of yourself.
It reminds you that you need to love like Jesus loves.
True love. The kind of love that Jesus has for me.
It does not envy.
(When I wish he would hug me when I know he would hug his mom)
It is not self-seeking.
(I do not need to seek anything in return for the kind of love Jesus requires.)
It is not proud.
(I am not an amazing person for obeying what Jesus told me to do)
It does not dishonor others
(when I feel like he needs to know about what his mom is doing)
And it always perseveres.
(When I feel like quitting because I’m just so dang exhausted.)

The love that Jesus has for me, even when I am not loyal to Him…
It’s pretty incredible.
And it’s a pretty amazing example of the kind of love given to me, therefore the kind of love required of me.

But it’s hard.
I want him to love me back.
I want him to trust me.
I want him to care about me.

And the position of foster mom is so different a biological mom.
It’s not sweet, lovable blog posts of my mini-me’s and our family fun.
And it’s different than an adopted mom.
It’s not cute, celebratory instagram feeds of reunions and homecomings.

It’s just kind of like regular life.
With another child.
Who doesn’t really belong to you, but does.

It’s not surprise baby showers and weeks of church family bringing meals.
It’s just kind of like regular life.
With another child.
Who doesn’t really belong to you, but does.

And for us, we are new to this.
So we are just learning as we go.
Loving as we go.
And trusting as we go, that God has all the details worked out perfectly.
That God knows my momma’s heart and knows when my big boys need to hug me, and tell me how much they love me.
That God knows how to take that loyalty to his mom and see the good in it.
The positive.
The reminder that God is loyal to us even when we aren’t to him.

And so even though his loyalty is not with me today.
Maybe someday it will be.
And until then, I will just keep right on loving.
Because that is what Jesus has called me to do.

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6 thoughts on “When his loyalty isn’t with you: Being a foster mom

  1. So beautiful! God Bless you all for taking care of this little boy… I’m sure it’s not an easy thing to do!! Praying for you all!

    Jessica Ismail

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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  2. 😭not sure if emojis show up in the comments. But it’s the one with tears streaming down the face. This is beautifuly written. And very informative and real. Can’t imagine how difficult yet eternally rewarding this road is. Keep up the amazing work. And continue to be you. Thank you for sharing! Always praying for him and your family too. I love you!!! And I love little J so much too!! xoxo

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