I’m a foster mom. Because of this, things are a little different in our home…
For instance, when big boy wakes up in the middle of the night, I can’t just point to him and say, “GO BACK TO BED!” I mean, I could say that. But, think about things he could have gone through in his past… These methods don’t and won’t work for him.
Religiously, I am up 2 or 3 times a night with big boy putting him back to bed. Sometimes, he sits in his bed and just yells repeatedly, “Miss Dana!” Pause. Then, “Miss Dana!” over and over again. Other times, I am completely asleep and I hear a little voice right next to my head…His voice is meagerly crying past his fingers stuck in his mouth. “Miss Dana?”
Last night, I was really tired. There is no magical wand that appears over me that makes me any different than you. And you are probably better than me. Nothing in me wants to wake up at all. I am half asleep as I carry him back to his room, place his fleece blanket over his head (as he likes) and then place his Winnie the Pooh blanket over his body. I turn and walk out of his room, close the door behind me, plop right back in my own bed, and wait for the next wake up call.
Sometimes, it is agitating to me. Sometimes, I try telling him to go back to bed and only get up when he is still calling my name.
I think in a normal parenting situation, there would be things easily said or consequences for a habitual waking child. But in his case, he needs the extra comfort. He needs to know we aren’t going to yell… I will never forget one of the first times I had to come into his room when he yelled for me. He looked at me with fingers in his mouth and asked, “Am I in twouble?”
No, this is not a regular situation.
And that’s what hit me last night. As I was groggily putting him back to bed again last night, this phrase hit my heart: “You’re a foster mom.”
“Ok, DUH!” you might be saying.
But, the phrase meant a lot to me.
This is what I want. I want to comfort and love and nurture our precious foster children. I may not have imagined it in the context of 2:00 AM, 2:30 AM, and then 4:30 AM again, BUT, this is what I want.
Somehow, I had an extra bounce in my step as I put him back to bed last night. I might have been groggy as all get out, but “I am a foster mom….This is what I do.” It was like a cheerleader, helping me to press on.