When we started fostering, I figured the people involved would fall into one of two categories…the good guys and the bad guys. We, of course, would be the good guys. The bio parents would be the bad guys. And the good guys always win. Right?
Whew. How naive of me…I mean, even for me, dreamer that I am…pretty naive.
And so it is with utter shock that I find myself loving Darling’s bio mom almost as tenderly as I love Darling. I did not see this one coming. But there we were in court last Wednesday. I see my girl in her mama’s face. I have this uncontrollable urge to grab bio mom zerbert her, tickle her tummy, and make her giggle. Probably inappropriate, no? I could not keep my eyes off her…though I tried to be nonchalant. She’s so tiny. So lovely. So like that sweet baby girl I kissed goodbye earlier that morning.
And so, Darling’s mom, all 95 pounds of her, stood up before a judge as lawyers and case managers assaulted her character. She did not roll her eyes. She did not behave rudely nor angrily nor defensively in return. She took her medicine without complaint. I could not have been more proud.
I could not have been more scared.
What am I supposed to do with this? Really. What?
Do I root for her?
I want to root for her. I want her to succeed. I want her to get it together. I want her to become a great mom. I want Darling to go home…to a mom who adores and cherishes her. But there’s the whole reality of what home would likely look like for Darling, should she go back to bio mom…a home that is not stable with a mom who is not stable. And I know this happens. One of my brave fostering friends sent one of her precious girls home to live with bio mom in a homeless shelter. It happens.
Then, there’s the flip side. I don’t want to root for bio mom. I want her to fail. I want her to continue to miss visitations, to move from living situation to living situation, to remain unemployed and unemployable. Holy cow. I suck.
So, as I sat there…sucking…my husband stood, crossed the aisle, and introduced himself to bio mom. He then spent twenty minutes sharing videos and photos of Darling with her.
Later, as we all stepped into the hallway after court, Darling’s mom started sharing little gems…she had listened to country music during her pregnancy and thought that Darling might enjoy hearing it again. We also discovered that bio mom hates peas…just like Darling…that bio dad loves nature…just like Darling. And sweetly, we discovered that Darling is a Ray Charles fan. Who knew?
What a beautiful mess. What a tragically beautiful mess. The situation. The bio mom. The foster mom. Tragically beautiful messes.
(The foster dad rocks though.)