To those of you who have adopted through foster care, and survived to tell the tale I commend you. Foster-to-adopt is a journey not for the faint of heart. It is a confusing, painful, emotional, unfair and beautiful path. Loving a child with all the intensity a mother can give, but being given no biological or legal connection binding her to me. In the eyes of the law we were only her “foster” parents. Now I mean no disrespect to the word foster, it truly is a wonderful title to have. But the love we shared exceeded the word, and I ached to be rid of it.
One day we were waiting for her name to be called at the doctor’s office. This was something I dreaded, the nurse coming out with her chart and calling out the birth name of my dd. Reminding me publicly that even though she had been mine since she was six weeks old, and even though she had only seen her birth mother for 1hr in the past 7mths, she was still legally not just mine. However on this day the nurse came out looked at me and said “I think it’s about time we call her by her real name, its Stella right?” Such a simple thing to say but my eyes started to well and I had to fight back tears. This woman was the first to publicly validate me, to confirm that this is my REAL daughter even with out biology and with out paper. She truly is my real daughter! Although I still long for the day when I no longer have to report my life to an overworked caseworker, and sit in a room with judges and lawyers who decided the fate of my baby without having met her. This one woman’s thoughtful words eased my path.