Dear sweet child,

I know this is scary. One minute, you’re home. The next, you’re living with strangers. I can’t begin to imagine the confusion you are feeling, and I won’t pretend to understand.

You’ve never met me before, but I’m going to be your foster mom.

Alongside your foster dad, I will do my very best to make our house a home for you. I know it will be hard to live with a brother you’ve never met. You may feel like you’re different. You may even feel like you’re less important.

Oh child, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

You need to know you’re wanted.

I haven’t grown you in my womb, or felt your tiny kicks and hiccups. My body has not ached as it knits life. But, my heart has grown. In ways I never imagined, it has pieced together a vision of you.

In preparation, I didn’t avoid the foods I did when I was pregnant. But, I did spend hours thinking about what we’ll say around the dinner table. I’ve prepared meals in my head, and packed your imaginary lunches a thousand times.

Upon our entrance into parenthood, your foster dad and I admired the nursery we created with our biological son in mind. We couldn’t do that with you. But, we did spend hours ensuring your room is ready for you to make it what you want. There are dolls, trucks, stuffed animals, empty frames awaiting your photos, and bare walls ready for you to decorate.

When I was pregnant, I packed a hospital bag with all of the things I thought might bring mecomfort and strength while I was there. This time, I didn’t do that. Instead, I carefully curated all of the things I hope will bring you comfort and strength while you’re here.

We didn’t attend the same parenting classes as with our first child. We didn’t learn how to change a diaper, breathe through labor, or buckle a car seat. But, we did sit through hours upon hours of training to become your foster parents.

This time around, we didn’t go through the aisles of Babies-R-Us, scanning items into a perfectly planned registry. Instead, there was a mountain of paperwork. There were hours of scrutinizing interviews. We spent 52 straight days collecting the papers and check marks we needed in order to bring you here.

There was no baby shower for you. But, our friends and family gave us gifts we could never repay. They wrote letters on our behalf, they spoke words in our favor, and they went out of their way to prove that we’re ready for you.

I didn’t get to form you, birth you, or be the first person you saw when you entered this world. Still, I have prayed for you. Longed for you. Waited for you.

And no matter how long you’re with us—be it an hour or a lifetime—I’ll be the best (foster) mom I can be. You’ll be safe, you’ll be comfortable, you’ll be heard. And, you will be so, so loved.

I can’t wait to welcome you home, if only for a little while.

Your foster mom

Originally published on the author’s blog

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Heather Koontz

Based out of Oklahoma City, I’m a mom of two boys—one biological, the other adopted out of foster care. I enjoy writing about foster care, adoption, parenting, DIY projects, and everyday inspiration. When I’m not writing, you can find me at an OKC Thunder basketball game or devouring dark chocolate during a Netflix binge.