Her Mess and My Mess

Today we are blessed to share a reflection from a dear friend and foster-mom in the trenches, Marie. If you read our Team #CooperCrew post, you'll know Marie as our friend who rounded up (or guilted) people to help us with our remodel.

She and her husband are also a part of our foster care support group and sweet friends to Our Cooper Crew. Marie has been a foster momma for almost three years and shares how her perspective has changed toward the birth mother of her sweet baby girl.

We had court today. After court, emotions run high, adrenaline makes your head hurt, and it's hard to think clearly, but...I have to say I am so thankful God has called me to this mess.

I started out the foster care journey a little "anti-birth parent." Maybe I'm not supposed to admit that to people outside this journey, but I'm being honest here. I went into fostering with a bit of an attitude toward the birth parents, thinking, "You made your mess and now I'm the one cleaning it up. Thank you very much." Now we are 22 months in and I can see that God is really shaping my heart towards other people through this up-and-down road of foster care..

I've come to recognize that these birth families have serious, deep wounds in their spirit. I don't know of anyone who has a child and says, "I want to neglect you and put you in harm's way for my own sake." There's so much more to their story.

Some people take their deep wounds and scars and make them into really beautiful tattoos. Other people maybe don't have the resources or support to help them deal with their wounds properly, and so they turn into these nasty sores that create a whole host of problems for them and their child. My heart hurts for them.

Today at court, our sweet girl's birth mom was in a really vulnerable state, but she was there. She was trying to figure out which end is up, but she has no one in her life to really show her the way!

At one point...well, maybe twice, she yelled at me. Yes!, at me...the one cleaning up a huge part of the mess that her choices have made! And then moments later, she was opening up her whole, hurt heart to me. All I could do was hug this broken human and tell her to, "Hang in there; you're doing the best you can."

God called me and equipped me to step in and help clean up the mess, because she doesn't know how to. I'm realizing that through this foster care journey, God is also cleaning up my mess of a heart. He's teaching me how to truly love others as He loves them. I don't think I am exactly great at it, but I know I'm better now than when I started. I am so thankful that God threw me into this broken world of foster care so that while I'm "helping" someone else, He is actually helping me.

Today, I pray for baby girl's birth mom. I pray that she will see that her life, broken and fragmented as it may be, is worth fighting for. I hope she knows, really knows, that she matters. Most of all, I pray that she finds the One that can heal her deep, hurting wounds.

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