I was looking for a birthday card for my soon to be 13 year old. Yes, I will be the mother of a teenager in a matter of weeks. Finding a birthday card for a son I have not raised from birth, who we are not related to by blood, was a little harder than I thought. This is Junior's first birthday with us and in our family 13 is very important. I found one that wishes him the best and that we will encourage him as he matures. Finding the right words for a relationship that is still forming is important when we are still working on basic trust. We will sign the card "Mom and Dad" even though Junior still calls us by our first names. He has much larger issues to deal with as a teen in foster care than what he calls his foster-adopt parents.
"Dear Son, I'll never stop wishing the world for you. I'll never stop worrying, caring, or trying to be a soft place to land in difficult times... I'll never stop seeing, believing, or trusting in the possibilities for you... And I'll never stop being proud of what a wonderful person you are."
Only through our actions can we teach Junior that we do love him and it is more than a phrase. Being involved in church, in his school activities, helping him navigate his social life and helping him deal with the circumstances of his time in foster care allow Junior to realize we are here for him. We will encourage him, discipline him, guide him, teach him and open up his world so he can have a better understanding of the world, other people and himself. Regardless of Junior learning that we love him and encourage him, I'll never stop wishing the world for him or worrying or caring. My 99 year old grandmother still worries about her children who are in their 70s and 50s. A mother (most mothers) will always have some amount of concern and pride in the doings of her children. Junior's birth mother cares for his well being and wants him happy. She and I parent differently, but we both love Junior. If we adopt, she will not stop loving him. If she parents Junior, we will not stop loving him. We also know his birth father loves him very much, and will not stop loving him. The card I found expresses a parent's love and hopes for their child:
"I'll never stop wishing the world for you. I'll never stop worrying, caring, or trying to be a soft place to land in difficult times... I'll never stop seeing, believing, or trusting in the possibilities for you... And I'll never stop being proud of what a wonderful person you are."
Whether we raise him for six months or eight years, we are all blessed to be a family and I'll never stop loving him. While we are unsure of the future, we are "living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardships as the pathway to peace".
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
forever in the next.