Fostering Hope

Disclaimer: Sometimes I’m a great writer, and I can spin words to help others think, create and feel. Whereas, other times I feel like I’m simply putting words together until they make a sentence, boring and basic. This is one of those times. My wish is to make the words on this page come to life to create freedom, laughter and hope, and maybe they will… but if they don’t it’s because I’m trying to express two deep darks – one a secret and the other, a hope.

One of my deep, dark secrets (which you already might know…) is I don’t like babies. That which really frustrates me about this deep, dark secret is how unaccepting baby-loving people are of non-baby-loving people. Why must we, who don’t particularly love babies, feel like “bad people”. While unable to sleep parce-que feeling anxious about faking a desire to hold my uber adorable newborn niece (because she is my niece,  and I do love her) I read articles on Google via my search for “She’s cute,  but I don’t want to hold your baby.” Many of them started out with the sentence “I’m a bad person.” Then were followed by a myriad of relatable and hilarious stories of these women gracefully trying to say no to propositions to hold other people’s babies. Some stories were more offensive then others, which gave me the idea to write my story, hopefully in the light of humor, freedom and hope (random fact: half of this story was typed on the memo pad of my cellphone – be impressed).

I’ve only ever held babies because I  feel like I’m able to serve their parents by giving them a break, not because I actually enjoy it… Does this make me a bad person? No. Just because I have no desire to hold any baby I come in contact with,  does it mean I love them any less?  No way!  God crafted me this way.

Ever since I can remember,  I haven’t wanted my own kids.  Before I knew where babies came from, I would fear that God would give me one,  knowing I didn’t want one.  Growing up, as my elder cousins started having kids,  I always felt like the odd duck because I didn’t want to hold their kids,  or even ooo and aww over them. I was told all the good ones (and even believed them for awhile) like, ‘once you meet the right guy,’ or ‘it’s just fear, ‘ or ‘you’ll be such a good mom someday..’ It all made me feel like I needed to want to have kids to be human, or woman.

I found freedom when I found friends who shared similar feelings to my own. There is nothing wrong with not wanting to have your own kids,  and you are not a bad person for not holding babies.

Now don’t get me completely wrong,  as I do love kids!  Once they hit toddler stage and start  acquiring the personalities God created in them, I enjoy their company,  and oftentimes enthusiasm for life.  And I do want to be a mom someday,  just in a “path less traveled” sort of way.

God has blessed me with a heart (and a hope) to be a foster mom,  and for that,  to Him,  I am eternally grateful. I have started to humbly pray that he will equip me to love,  provide for, boldly fight for and even selflessly let go of, when is necessary. I pray that God will watch over them, hold and comfort them, and keep them safe wherever they are now. May we only meet in His timing.

Towards the end of my stay,  I finally had an opportunity to stand up for myself.  As one of the grandma’s offered me more “auntie time”, and as my insides clenched and escape mechanisms clicked on,  I responded as honestly and lovingly as I possibly could, “I’m alright.  I love them, (gesturing to my nieces), but I don’t really  like babies.”  The other grandma tried to rationalize by claiming,  “Well when you’re not used to holding them…” To that I responded, “No that’s not it.”

I don’t know how to express to my family that my uninterest in babies in no way reflects my love or care for, or interest in them. This is the best I got. You can accept it or not, but I will no longer deny who I am. I will always choose puppies over babies, but that doesn’t make me a bad person – it makes me, ME.

To anyone out there who has been shamed (self or others inflicted) for not holding babies, be FREE! You’re not alone, and you’re not a bad person. You are different, and different is wonderful! Imagine how boring the world would be if everyone  ‘ooo’d and awww’d’ over babies – what would the poor sad ol’ puppies do… or the toddlers who realize they now have to share their attention… or my favorite, the often-forgotten, elderly [and amazing] generation?

Vote for RahRah – loving puppies and respecting her elders since 1988.

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And onward to my heart for fostering. About a year ago, the Prez of my company asked me about my 5 year plan. I told him my goals were less vertical and more horizontal. I wanted to make sure that whatever I was doing was drawing me closer to the Lord. And by the end of the five years, I wanted to be able to support something other than myself. Verbally, I shared maybe a dog, savings account or a car payment… by deep in my heart, I was saying foster kids. This past year I’ve been able to successfully provide for myself, which is indeed a dream come true! However, now, moving towards my goal, I’m working at budgeting better and seeking opportunities that will allow me to provide for my future foster kids, which I know will take sacrifices.

IF Miss Hannigan can do it, surely, so can I 🙂 I recently rented the newer version of Annie and watched it thrice times before the rental period ended… I only, kinda completely love it, and all the songs. (I’m singing along right now…)

To my future foster kids, if you’re out there, somewhere. I’m sorry I can’t help you right now. I can only afford me right now, but I’m working towards you. I’m praying for you. I know it is through unfortunate circumstances that we will meet, and I wish they weren’t so, but I’m excited to meet you – and with God at our side, we’ll get through this crazy life together. Stay strong.

“I am willing, as the Spirit leads, to bring this seed to harvest, in Your time and place, Lord.”

-RahRah’s Prayer

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