Pretend parenting

Last weekend I said something to Josh about us being “pretend parents.”

“Foster care isn’t pretend,” he reminded me.

I know that, but sometimes it doesn’t feel that way. Sometimes when I’m changing diapers or warming up bottles or wiping noses (seriously about to buy stock in Kleenex) I get this sad feeling, like what I’m doing doesn’t really matter because I’m not their “real” mom.

I have to remind myself time and again that love is always real. I love these 3 little kids with my whole heart, and even if they are only in our lives for a few months, the time we spend with them is not wasted if it is done in love.

I think back to some of the events of this past weekend: endless Moana dance parties in the living room, E bonding with “Papa Jenny and Giraffe” (aka Josh’s parents), walking around Pullen Park, pushing the twins in the baby swings, folding teeny tiny laundry, kicking the soccer ball around outside, waking up at 5am to cuddle a coughing, crying baby… none of these things were in vain, despite what I sometimes let myself think.

Here is what I’ve come to believe: just because something is temporary does not make it less real.

So when the day comes that we have to say our final goodbye to these sweet kids as they are hopefully permanently reunited with their mom, I will let the tears and the sadness come, but I won’t let myself believe that our time together was wasted. Every minute has been worth it, every minute has counted, and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” -1 Corinthians 15:58

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