It seems so basic to the human relationship. But it holds more power than almost anything else in our development. Trust is the foundation of our decision-making process. It’s also the most important gift kids from hard places (read: EVERY SINGLE KID IN FOSTER CARE) can be given.
“Can I trust the world around me?” You may not hear my baby speaking those words, but he’s thinking them. Critical connections are forming in his little brain and I’ve said “YES” to the call to meet his every need…cry, scream or shout.
So when you see me holding this baby, resist the urge to run over and swoop him from my grasp. My answer will most likely be no. Please don’t be offended or put off.
It’s not you…it’s me.
Well, let’s be honest. It’s him.
For now, I need to be the one to pat his bottom, to soothe his fears, to find his face and kiss his sweet cheeks. I need to be the one to rock him to sleep and hold his bottle while he stares back at me. I need to be the one to reassure him. He needs to feel my touch. Because in his broken world, the one constant is me. I’m standing in crack of his splintered foundation and I’m doing everything I can to preserve it.
All of this doesn’t mean he can’t get a snuggle or a hug here and there. LOVE can speak through anyone. And I’m not ungrateful for the outpouring of compassion and concern. I see your heart and I know you want to love him too. Because I was standing over there not long ago. I just wanted to hold a baby.
But he’s not just a baby. And he’s not a bio. The infrastructure of relational dynamics and provision are on the line. And I’m not about to take that lightly.
I do cringe inside when this situation arises. I don’t want to say no. I want to share him with the world because, my goodness, seriously! This precious thang doesn’t deserve to be hidden.
But there’s this. whole attachment thing. If you’re sitting with the majority, this will catch you off guard-I have to attach too. And the best way to do that is through physical touch. He’s not a burden. Feeding him is the best way to connect. It’s true. I’m a mama to five kiddos and home isn’t always the easiest place to hold a baby. There’s always someone to help, a mess to clean up, meals to make and boxes to check. Sometimes he’s sleeping. Okay. He sleeps A LOT. And sometimes he’s just hanging out in the jumparoo because I have other work to do.
Public places are pretty much our gig to bond.
Insert hesitant smile??
And to you, foster mama friend, be confident in your motherhood.
Hold that baby tight. YOU provide what he needs. Don’t let the enemy trick you into believing these small moments are insignificant. BE HIS MAMA.
Your hands hold the power to one incredible gift.