Numb. Devastated. Lost. For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a mom. It turned out God had a different plan for me when I had a hysterectomy at the age of thirty due to complications with severe endometriosis. Still single, with no biological children, I spent the next few years praying and trying to figure out God’s plan for me. I knew I was meant to be a mother. I just had no idea how it was going to happen.
In the fall of 2008, I decided to take a leap of faith and become a foster parent. I had always shied away from fostering because of the usual fears related to having to say goodbye to children that I loved, but as time went on I finally began to trust that God wouldn’t have planted this seed in my heart only to leave me hurting and devastated. So I dove headfirst into the unpredictable world of foster care, and allowed myself to love my kids with my whole heart despite the inevitable hurt.
While I had always been a believer, that faith was shattered one March afternoon as I stood in a courtroom and learned that the little boy who I had loved as my own for the past year was never coming home. I had expected pain and tears when my children left my home, but nothing could have prepared me for the all-consuming heartache and flood of emotions that encompassed me in the days and weeks after I lost my little boy. I was numb. My heart had a gaping hole that physically ached. My arms were empty where my little boy should have been. I was furious that God would allow me to grieve so deeply when He was supposed to be protecting my heart! I knew that I would never survive another goodbye, so I gave up my foster care license and tried to move on.
I'm not sure if I can say that I've ever fully felt God's presence until a few months after I lost my little boy. It began slowly. I would see something that reminded me of my baby and would smile rather than cry. I would look at the empty crib and imagine another little one who needed me sleeping in it. As time went on, I began to feel the change within me, and I knew that could only be because of His promise to heal the hurt. I felt a stronger sense of peace, a renewed purpose, and a faith that I had always HOPED to have, but never really knew that I could find.
Fulfilled. Hopeful. Blessed. My life is nothing like I thought it would be when I was younger. I am most definitely a mom, but my children have come to me in ways I never could have imagined. Then one afternoon in December of 2012, a two-month-old baby boy was placed in my arms and looked up at me with his “old soul” eyes like he knew something that I didn’t. That little boy, my "Bug", was dedicated to the Lord here at this amazing church home one year later, and will soon be my first legal forever child as his adoption is finalized next month.
God has healed my heart time and time again over the past five years, and has blessed me beyond what I had ever hoped or thought possible.
I am Tammy (aka. Mimi) and I am CHANGED.
On this Orphan Sunday, and the second day of National Adoption Month, I encourage you to share with someone how your life has been touched by adoption.