I'll never ever forget the day we drove away from your house with the sweet baby girl who was your daughter for eight months and was to be our daughter forever. We stalled, we took a picture, we didn't know what to say. We buckled her safely into her car seat, handed down from her older sister who she had barely met at that point. It all seemed very unceremonious and casual. This momentous changing of hands, this transfer of life, love and care boiled down to putting her belongings in the back of my minivan and buckling some seat belts.
In an ideal world, a baby shouldn't have had three mamas by the time she is ten months old. We hope for one and done, for Plan A to be what sticks, for Mama #1 to be the only mama. But women like you and I know that in foster care that is not the case. Women like you and I are Plan B. We are Mama #2...or #3...or #7... We are here to swoop in when Plan A shatters and a little life is hanging in the balance. We are here to try our best to help pick up the pieces and put at least some of them back together.
My sweet baby will always have three mamas. We don't know where paths will take each of us, but each of you will always be part of her story. She will know your name and your face, even if just from pictures. She will know how well you cared for her and how much her foster siblings adored her. She will understand that it is no tragedy that she has three mamas in her story. No, it is a blessing. It is three times the love at the beginning of her life, while her future was figuring itself out amidst some bumps in the road.
So, from Mama #3 to Mama #2, thank you. Thank you for being Mama #2 for my sweet daughter, when I was not able to swoop in quite yet and lift her out of the chaos. Thank you for being such a resource to us as we learned to care for this little one that both our hearts claim in different ways. Thank you for loving her for eight precious, valuable months of her life while we got ourselves ready for the forever part.