Old MacDonald had a farm

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Little man had his end-of-year daycare program yesterday evening. He was a little piggy for the verse of “Old MacDonald had a farm, E–I–E–I–O… and on that farm he had some pigs…E–I–E–I–O”.  Little man didn’t want to be a pig–specifically, he didn’t want to wear his cute little piggy ears. He wanted to run and play, and hit the balloons, and eat the pig-shaped cookies. Wearing the piggy ears just wasn’t an option in his little one-year-old mind. I suppose if I was a one-year-old, I would feel the same way.  But doggone it, he sure was cute for the 2.2 seconds we got him to keep them on for a picture. 🙂

My heart was happy to see him run and play and act like any other kid his age.  It  hurt though, to know that although we love him, and he calls me “Momma” with confidence, that’s not the way it will always be.  And last night as I thought about his fate in the foster care system, my sweet friend walked by with her daughter.  My friend, who is as good of a mom as any you’ll find, was there with her daughter, yet was missing her son who was killed in a car accident two summers ago. Why did she lose her child while the foster child I raise desperately needs a loving forever home? Why is life so unfair to those completely helpless to fight back? My foster child doesn’t lack for love, but he does lack for a stable home. His parents are caught up in a series of bad choices and it’s not clear yet whether they will improve so he can go back to them or not.  Will I be left with a few artwork pieces and precious pictures and memories ? Or will he need a forever home at our house? There’s no way to know for now.  As for my sweet friend, she doesn’t lack for other children or a loving husband, but that in no way whatsoever takes away the pain and anguish over losing her firstborn child.  Sometimes being a mom is one of the hardest tasks handed to us as human beings.

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day.  I think of all the moms (biological or otherwise) out there who come together with a common interest on this day.   Whether it’s a year to rejoice over how blessed we are, or to mourn what we have lost or never had, it’s an emotional time.  For some moms on this day, they must visit their kiddos in jail, while others visit theirs at a gravesite.  And yet others rejoice while they hold sticky, cuddly, smiley little ones…and their hearts are full, rightfully so.

To celebrate this Mother’s Day,  I pray for my little ones.  The ones I’ve cared for and sent back to their parents.  The ones I’ve been blessed with biologically (who aren’t so little anymore).  For the current foster child in my care.  And then I pray for moms everywhere.  I pray for my friend who still cries for the loss of her son.  I pray for my friends who have never been blessed with children, despite their most fervent wishes.  And for the moms who need a helping hand up, a better support system, a mother figure in their own lives… Let’s not forget them either.  (May we not forget–as a mother’s path goes, so does that of society).  Today, let’s take time out to be there for each other.  May we be that helping hand, that listening ear, that shoulder to cry on.  Remember–It doesn’t take a mother, it just takes someone who cares.

                                             Happy Mother’s Day

                               Nurse Ames, RN

 

Palm Sunday

IMG_2893There’s nothing cuter than all the little kiddos waving their palm branches in church on Palm Sunday.  Clearly, this is way more fun then trying to hold still while sitting in a pew!  And there’s a festive atmosphere in church.  This is the day we celebrate Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem.  It’s also my Sunday off, and I’m thankful to be here with family and friends.  But what tugs at my heart the most is seeing our little foster baby waving his palm branches and grinning ear-to-ear for me. My heart is heavy for him, for his future remains uncertain.  His parents have recently split; meanwhile, termination proceedings have started for dad and mom is back in rehab AGAIN.  This is the second time around we have had him in his short life.  I feel so torn between love for this sweet, innocent child, and anger for the unfairness that life has already dealt him.  And he’s just one of so many kids in this situation.  So, so many families in America are touched personally by this same problem.  And each time I get to know another foster kid and their parents, I realise all over again that these are people just like you and I, who are either down on their luck, or dealing with every-day life issues just like the rest of us.  They usually have a poor support system, poor role models, or both.  They don’t set out to purposefully sabotage themselves, and yet that’s where they end up, regardless.  There’s no quick fix, no easy solutions to these problems in society.

How do I reconcile my faith with the problems of every-day America?  There’s no easy answer to that either, but I do it the best way I know how– I put it into action.  On this Palm Sunday, I’m thankful I can love on this little one, and keep him safe from the big bad wolf, so to speak.  He doesn’t have to worry about going hungry, or being scared or hurt, or crying himself to sleep at night.  He can run and play at our house to his little heart’s content, and not have a care in the world, as all one-year-old’s should.  In the meantime, I pray for his future.  I pray that this happy-go-lucky, carefree toddler gets a chance to grow up as a normal kid in a normal home.  That his smile never goes away, that his cheerful spirit stays intact.  Every kid deserves that chance at happiness.

His future won’t be decided today, however.  That’s somewhere out there in the hazy distance.  But today is here, right now, and we are gonna live it up the best we know how.  Which means we’re gonna swish some palm branches around for fun a few more times, probably chase each other with them a time or two, and laugh out loud while we’re doing it.  I’m going to try to not to fall in my heels while he scampers away from me, and when I catch him and all his greenery, I’ll give him a huge bear hug.  And my heart will be full of thankfulness.