"I Love You Too Much Mama" by Suzanne Lorraine

May being #fostercareawarenessmonth always feels a bit ironic. I want to share and post about our journey while simultaneously being in the thick of it and feeling tapped out most evenings. Each year I do sense myself savoring the moments made possible by fostering and adopting, while also taking stock of the cost. You rarely get one of those without the other. 

This little boy was so tough for the first 4 months of life. He was brand new to the world and already so stressed. He screamed, without stopping, for hours and days on end. I wore him in every carrier and wrap on the market. I doubted it all, I counted all the losses and clung to hope that one day it would be ok. For him. For us. 

Today I reached down out of nowhere and grabbed Jojo up from where he was playing. I hugged him tight, his warm cheek pressed into mine. He relaxed into my arms and leaned back slightly to look me in the eyes. “I love you too much, mama!” He chirped before putting his head back on my shoulder. He would have stayed content in my arms for as long as I’d have him. He’s the kid who spots my husband and I sitting down (in a rare moment ) and climbs right into our lap. He sits quietly and still, he loves that physical touch. 

But this story isn’t about the payoff or success of loving a kid back to health.

Today when I told Jojo that I also loved him too much, it dawned on me that although he is now officially ours forever, I’d love him “too much” even if he wasn’t. If Jojo was still in foster care and was reunified with his family of origin tomorrow, we would be devastated beyond belief. But even then, we would still go back and say yes to him all over again. We’d say yes to the agonizing first months, yes to loving him with complete abandon. Yes to the prospect of losing him because yes, you can count the losses, but then you’d miss out on the unbelievable, sacred gains we’ve had because he and his sisters are in our lives. Yes, you get attached in foster care. Healthy, loving relationships include a hefty measure of attachment. That terrifies a lot of people, and I get it. Just please don’t ever let it stop you from taking a step into this. It’s too good and too important to miss out on.

Marie Briggs