A Mother’s Heart: When Mothering the Child of Another
There are times when a Christian woman may come to understand that God is opening her heart to mother a child who has not been born from her own body. Often these mothers are women in waiting, who find they are unable to bear children. Other times this desire grows in the hearts of moms who find they simply have more love to give. Either way, the work before them is filled with love, joy, stress, and at times a burden so profound that it makes it difficult to sleep at night.
These women seek to honor God by providing a home to a child in need. They do this through foster parenting, being a legal guardian, working in a children’s home as a house parent, or through the act of adoption. Regardless of how they come to it, the hill is rarely an easy one to climb. The support available is limited, at best, and friends who can truly understand are seemingly non-existent.
A mother who chooses to build her family by bringing children into her home and loving them regardless of any struggle that may come, has a selfless heart. It’s not easy.
Children who come into foster care, or group homes, or even are adoptable do so because, generally speaking, they are coming out of a difficult situation. Sometimes these children have been in abusive homes, neglectful homes, or have parents who are ill, in jail, or even deceased. These children are often struggling to breath and are overwhelmed by the circumstances of lives that they have no control over and suddenly they are removed from whatever bit of normalcy they know and are dropped into homes of complete strangers. While the strangers might appear to be nice, the child will wonder if they can be trusted, struggle to attach not knowing or understanding why they are there in the first place. Often, the child has no knowledge of what has taken place.
While children can be resilient, the fact is, they are innocent and tender souls who are hurting. They need loving, understanding arms and hearts, but don’t know or trust the ones that they are suddenly expected to live with and obey. They will test limits, rules, patience and love. They will distrust, rebel and disobey. They may have health struggles, mental illness or addictions that will be difficult if not impossible to overcome. And then, there is always the bit of niggling fear at the back of the mother’s mind that wonders, worries or even faces the reality of having to send a child back, back to their former life, back to their biological parents, back to their previous situation.
It’s not easy. In fact, it is hard. For those of you reading this who are IN this place, If you are a mom who prays through the night over a little soul that is hurting, if you are a mom who falls to her knees in fear that the child you’ve grown to love is in danger of being pulled out of your life, if you are a mom who has a broken heart because your child has a broken heart, or if you are a mom who weeps over the pain that your little one is in, either emotionally, physically or spiritually, then we offer you a small measure of encouragement.
Encouragement for a Mom’s Heart who Seeks to Love These Children
But you dear sister in the Lord, are safe in the arms of the LORD your God. He loves you, knows you and can comfort you. He is your Strength, your Rock, your Shield. He is a High Tower who protects you and those you love. You CAN do all things through Him who gives you strength. Your sacrifice is not without merit because you are loving souls and seeking to train them up for His glory.
Blessed be the Lord my Rock,
Who trains my hands for war,
And my fingers for battle—
My loving kindness and my fortress,
My high tower and my deliverer,
My shield and the One in whom I take refuge,
Who subdues my people under me.
Psalm 144:1-2 NJKV
You Are Not Alone
There are times when you will feel isolated, alone and as if no one understands. But you aren’t alone. Even though each situation is unique there is a commonality in the selfless act of extending love during heartache. There is fellowship in knowing that someone else has experienced a similar struggle. Here at R16:16 we have several bloggers in our directory who have become mothers through foster care, or adoption and we want to share their sites with those of you who need some encouragement.
- Learning How Much I Don’t Know – Shonya
- Add One Chinese Sister & Add One Chinese Sister, Part 2 – Luci’s Momma
- Organized Chaos – Amy
- Great Peace Academy – Renee
- Quirks and Chaos – Mom of Many
A Mother’s Heart
This is the first A Mother’s Heart feature that will be available on the R16:16 Blog. We hope to encourage and support Christian mother’s in their roles and daily work. You may find blog features of women who write about motherhood, or articles of encouragement for various phases of motherhood. You are welcome to share your thoughts and ideas in comments.
Article written by: Renee Aleshire Brown, R16:16 Team Member