I could never

I am a foster parent.

When people learn this, their first reaction is very often, “Wow.  Good for you!  I could never do that.”

I think I know what they mean.

It’s not that they actually couldn’t do it… anyone that is relatively healthy and has a home could be a foster parent.

I think they mean what I mean when I say, “I could never do that.”

About the mama who has more babies in heaven than she does on earth.

And the family grieving the loss of a dream in the face of a hard diagnosis.

And the wife who holds her husband’s hand through his terminal illness.

And the friends, the true friends, who show up even (especially) when there is nothing left to do but just show up.

It’s not that we actually couldn’t do it.

We do what we must.

I think what we really mean when we say, “I could never,” is that you are incredibly brave.

What you are doing matters.

It is hard.  And messy.  And complicated.

It is important.  And redemptive.

And so, today, when someone tells me they could never do what I am doing, I choose not to launch into all of the reasons why they absolutely could be a foster parent.

I choose instead to hear these words of validation.

And to speak them to you—mama, wife, friend.

You are incredibly brave.

What you are doing matters.

It is hard.  And messy.  And complicated.

It is important.  And redemptive.

Go on ahead and rock it.

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6 thoughts on “I could never

  1. kimi76

    Reblogged this on A Tangled Life and commented:
    A brilliant way to look at “I could never do that” from a different light!
    I used to hear that when people found out that I had twins at 18 years old. “I could never do that!”

    I used to hear it when my step-son was going through difficult mental health struggles and had to go in to residential treatment.

    We hear it often when people learn that we adopted our little Jellybean from foster care.

    And now we hear it as people hear about my husband, Jeff’s, health.

    “I could never do that.” I used to take those words in a different way. If heard while I was in the wrong mood it would irritate me. I wanted to tell them I did not always chose my life but I am not unhappy with it. It’s sometimes hard but it is still our life!

    But I like this blogger’s perspective and will try to remember this point of view from now on. 🙂

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