I spelled it that way so you don't get confused with the awesome movie my two pretend BFFs made in 2008. And so you don't think this blog is about surrogacy or juice shops.
I want to tell you a little bit about Baby F's mommy, E. The thing I have to be sensitive to here is that I hope that I get to be friends with her for a long time and someday she might read this blog, and I want to honor her in what I say. Maybe someday, I'll get to help her tell her whole story.
For now, I'll tell you this. She is a sweet girl (she's 24, but I can call her girl because I'm soooo much older) and really loves her baby. She wants to be the best mom she can and is making all the right decisions so far. We got so lucky/blessed having her as our first birth mom in our foster care journey. The children you can kind of prepare for, but the parents are a different story.
In the time I've gotten to spend with E -- two doctor's appointments, two visitations and one church mom's group-- I've so enjoyed getting to know her and hearing her open up about her life.
She is the oldest of 5 daughters her mom had by several different men. She spent a year in foster care as a child and unfortunately had a terrible, heartbreaking experience. She came to this area to get over the difficult breakup she had with her first baby's daddy (the baby stays w/ him), only to fall into a crowd that influenced her in very negative ways, leading to the bad decisions that led to Baby F being placed with us.
She is proud to say that Baby F has changed, even saved her life. She said that when she first held her, she decided she was going to turn her life around and make a better life for her baby. I think that if she had never had Baby F, or if CPS hadn't gotten involved when they did, she would've fallen through the cracks of society and never had a chance. Now she has people helping her get into programs, like WIC, food stamps, Section 8 housing, etc., that give her this chance. She has people like her CPS workers, her cousin who practically raised her, and us to encourage and help her make good decisions. Best of all--and this is nothing new, but perhaps new to her--she has a God who is crazy about her and has good plans for her and Baby F.
She is working on taking a test to get her GED. She is spending her days applying for jobs or at the library. She has completely cut off all connections with bad-influencing friends. She is thinking about and planning for Baby F's future.
She is experimenting with different colors of blonde for her hair, but I'm encouraging her to go back to her natural brown to match her daughter's. She loves jewelry and painting her nails bright colors. She looks amazing for having had a baby 3 weeks ago.
She soaks in every inch of her baby's skin, delights in every squeak and squeezes every moment she has with her to the last drop. Just as any mother should.
I know this is just skimming the surface, but I hope you get a picture (even without a face to go with it) of the kind of person on the other side of foster care. Though the news can't help but publicize parents-gone-wrong, she represents the best of what the system can do. Sometimes a child ends up in foster care, not because their parents want to hurt them, but because they aren't equipped to care for them. Many parents are like E. They embrace the help available to them and get to take their children home. They might not be perfect parents (but who is?), but they are better parents, and that's all we can ask.
We're blessed to be a part of E's story now. We're determined to see her succeed. We're excited to see her break free from her past and start a new chapter.
So, as excited as many of our friends and family are for us to have a sweet, pink, tiny human in our arms, I hope they (you) will be as excited for E to have her permanently in hers.
Oh- I just can't leave you without this amazing picture from our visitation today. I think Baby F was trying to show off for her mommy. 3 weeks old, this one! She just keeps getting more amazing!