This is Not What I Thought My Life Would Be

As I sit here writing this post, I am a stay-at-home mom, running a small non-profit in my non-existent spare time, caring for six children, spending most of my time as a would-be taxi service driving these kids from here to there and everywhere. 

I live in the city where my eyes are more open to everything around me than they previously were in my whitewashed suburban life. This is both a positive thing and a difficult thing. I am glad that I have learned to see injustice, mistreatment, and beauty that I was blinded to before, yet, if I am completely honest, I would tell you that sometimes I miss the simplicity of not seeing and not knowing. 

Just a couple years ago my husband and I were working at a place we loved with people we loved – people who became our family. We did life with these friends family members: celebrated birthdays and holidays, cried with each other over deep-rooted wounds, and laughed so much it often left our sides aching. Now they are gone – moved to different parts of the country and even across the world, the job is gone, and all that is left aching is my heart. I ache for the life we had and the everyday involvement in each other’s lives.

Sometimes I wish we could go back to this space, this special time in life and yet I know we are all right where we should be right now. 

Growing up I always pictured myself a mom and even thought it possible that I would have a big family. My husband and I talked about adopting when we were dating and knew this was always in the plans, but foster care? I never expected foster care. In fact, I was one of those people who said what so many have said to me: “I can never do it because I couldn’t give them back.” And now we have “given several back,” and welcomed more children into our home than I ever thought we could handle. 

I adore my family, I love all my kids – including the ones who are no longer with us- but sometimes I think it sure would be nice to have just a couple kids and be more free to do things together as a family. I often wonder if being less divided as a parent would benefit my children, but my heart knows teaching them to love and serve others through foster care has been the greatest benefit to who they are. 

When I pictured my life as a child or teenager, I was living in a beach house, enjoying the perceived constant sunshine and sand through my toes. I was lean and sunkissed blonde and driving a convertible. Today I live in Milwaukee, nowhere near a beach or ocean (although have you seen Lake Michigan? I mean, sometimes it deceives even me). I am neither lean nor sunkissed blonde and I drive a minivan.

Yes, as I sit here writing this post, I am a stay-at-home mom, running a small non-profit in my non-existent spare time, caring for six children, spending most of my time as a would-be taxi service driving these kids from here to there and everywhere.

No, this is not what I thought my life would be, and, while some days I miss what was or what might have been, most days I am living the exact life I needed, the exact life I never knew I always wanted. 

 

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