When I was pregnant with Avalon, I naively assumed that it was the beginning of a lifetime of having her as a daughter. I wasn’t clued into the fact that life is uncertain, that bad things happen, that time is short, sometimes shorter than we can believe.
Having Jo Jo here is a different kind of uncertain. Will she be here when she is 6 months old? Will I get to see her first steps? Will she grow up and call me Mama only to go home to another “mama”? Will she go home tomorrow, or in two years, or will she be my forever daughter? Really, loving Jo Jo is no different than loving my rainbow baby would be. I am now so acutely aware of the fact that there is no certainty. I have as much and as little to risk in letting myself fall in love with Jo Jo as I had with Avalon, I just didn’t know it at the time.
If I find myself just going gaga over Jo Jo, and thinking about what size bathing suit she will need this summer, and if we have any teethers or will need to buy some in a few months, etc etc I sometimes stop myself and say, “She might not be here. She might be gone.” If I were to get pregnant again, I think that after losing my first baby I would probably be thinking the same thing all the time. I would look at my pregnant belly, I would look at my rainbow baby, and I would say, “She might not be here in a month. She might be gone.”
So, really, it’s ok to go ahead and fall in love with your foster children. You’re taking the same risk as you are when you fall in love with any child, or any person. Thank you to my daughter Avalon, for showing me how precious the present moment is, and how important it is to savor what you have while you have it.
One thought on “it’s really not so different”
I feel like this is a very profound truth that you have articulated here. I have felt this way frequently-both during my pregnancy with my daughter and now, having her here, but I don’t think I could have articulated it this clearly. Losing my son, definitely taught me to love and cherish today, because tomorrow is never certain.