"Why are you adding more when you already have 6?"
You can only imagine how many times that question has swung my way over the past several months.
And my answer? Um, all I have to do is snuggle into Lincolns chubby cheeks for a second and my ovaries start firing off eggs. I'm an odd one. A collector of children.
Not really, I don't say that although I should, yes? I usually just respond with a "why not" or a "yep, we're crazy like that."
I get why people ask those questions though. And I would imagine that every mom gets why people ask those questions, because every mom gets how hard her job is. It's like when you have a newborn, and you're a week postpartum, and you haven't showered or brushed your teeth, and the baby is crying while your other kids are fighting, and the washing machine just ate your last pair of hospital net underwear.
(Not that I know what that is like.)
There is never a part of me though that views adding more kiddos to our family as "inconvenient", I feel like we're only moving forward with God's plan for our family.
Does changing diapers, filling sippy cups, wiping noses, cleaning up crumbs off the floor, and folding load after load of laundry always feel glamorous? Not at all. And would I love to have a full conversation at the park without having to tell my children to stop eating the mulch? Sure. But that's not my life right now...
Motherhood is hard. That is a simple fact. Some days more than others.
It's kind of like a roller coaster...with only tall hills and loops...and you just keep going up the tall hill anticipating the other side, and then after the rush of going down the hill it throws you for another loop. Yea, it's kinda like that.
Foster care is also like that, a roller coaster that never ends. Yesterday we had a visit with their mom, she decided to show up, and we all sang Cumbaya. Not really. The reality is that there is never a time that it doesn't sting a little when they run to her and all of the sudden I fall into 2nd place. Not going to lie, it actually stings a lot, especially with all we're dealing with with the girls.
But for some reason a child instinctively wants their mom to love them, regardless of the ugly past. That is the power of a mother's love.
I even find myself caring about their mom in a mothering way. Don't get me wrong, this woman can make me crazy, but like I've mentioned before, she's pretty young and never really had a mom. So I stand in this weird place where I want to keep her girls, but I also want to reach out and love her as well. I even found myself in the grocery yesterday buying her prenatal vitamins (because yes, she's expecting again. Don't EVEN get me started.). She feels like the enemy sometimes, but that motherly instinct to love her always trumps the bad feelings. Us mothers can't help it, its running through our tired veins.
The deep down ugly truth is that I often just want her to go away even though I know God's plan is best, and even though I know they are not really mine. But they feel like they're mine. Until we see her. And then I am humbled right into the background of the whole story. But that is the thing, mothers often are changing lives and keeping things going behind the scenes of everyday life - there is not a lot of recognition, but He sees us.
We are mothers. And we love relentlessly, even when it seems crazy. And it is indeed crazy!
Right now, motherhood is my ministry. It's how I serve, even when it feels so, so mundane and ordinary. But shaping lives is anything but ordinary.
The world tells us that we need to keep defining ourselves with things, and people, and money, and a "better you!" But God has already given us a defining role, and the more I embrace it the more I find my true self - right here, in this calling to be a mother.
Whether you're in the baby stage, or the school age stage, or the waiting for your kiddo through adoption stage, it's always a moving forward with God's plan of motherhood stage. And that's a good place to be.
So today, and tonight, and the next day, and the following years after that, I will continue on this crazy road of mothering. The hardest, but by far the most rewarding road I've been on to date.