Foster mom shares poignant post about a two-year-old foster child who immediately called her “mommy”
Foster mom and blogger Jamie, who writes at Foster The Family, knows what it means to be a mother – and she also knows what it means to be a Mommy. She recently penned a poignant blog post about the power of the word on her blog, which was recently shared in a Facebook post on Love What Matters and has since gone viral. In the post, she writes about welcoming a two-year-old into her home for a temporary stay.
“In her two years of life, she’s spent five months in foster care,” Jamie wrote of the foster child. “In her five months in care, she’s been in four different homes.”
After she greeted the little girl, the other kids became the welcoming committee, the tour guides, and concierge service. “They’re the key to a new child feeling at home,” Jamie wrote. After wandering around the house for a few minutes, the little girl ran into the room with a smile and said, “Look, mommy!”
Jamie told Scary Mommy that when she heard that word, her heart sank.
“It wasn’t just that she used the word mommy, it was that she ran up to me excited, with a huge smile, like I was her mommy,” she told Scary Mommy. “I felt so sad for her that she could so easily fall into accepting the idea that I was the new ‘mommy.’” To this little girl, who had been in five different homes in as many months, “mommy” was synonymous with the female adult of the house.
But being Mommy is so much more than that, isn’t it?
“Mommy meant falling asleep on shoulders, kissing skinned knees, teaching ABCs,” Jamie wrote in the post. “Mommy meant helping homework, whispering about friends, sitting outside dressing rooms. Mommy meant taking pictures at graduation, hugging on wedding day, cuddling grandchildren. Mommy meant security. Mommy meant commitment. Mommy meant life-long love.”
As moms, we get used to hearing the word “mommy” a lot (sometimes more than we’d like, especially when it’s accompanied by incessant whining for snacks), but Jamie’s post puts into perspective how powerful that word is – and what that role means for our children.
“She was only two years old, though, with a biological mom working hard to get her back and a foster mom willing to step in if she couldn’t,” Jamie wrote. “This little girl had the hope of learning that mommy isn’t just what you call a female who helps you, of forgetting that mommy could ever be just a name. This little girl would know what mommy meant. This little girl would have a mommy.”
Jamie told Scary Mommy she recently saw the little girl at the zoo, with another woman and several other children. Wondering if it was another foster mom, Jamie started to approach the woman to introduce herself, but when she realized the resemblance between the little girl and the woman, she knew it must be her biological mother.
“I’ll have that image of her sitting in a wagon at the zoo, well-dressed, smiling, chatty, and with her mom in my mind forever.”
Jamie and her husband have been foster parents for three years, and they currently have six children between the ages of five-months-old and eight-years-old living in their home – two biological children, two adopted children, and two foster children. Over the years, they have fostered ten children. Yes, you read that write. Ten!
“The hardest part of being a foster parent is loving a child with all of your heart, knowing they may leave,” she told Scary Mommy. “A good foster parent gets ‘too attached,’ which means there’s pain when the child you loved as your own leaves. But the joy comes from the gift you’ve given that child. No matter how long that child was with you, you were able to show them love and show them what family can be.”