Growing up I thought for sure I’d have several children. I just knew I was destined to parent three or four, and my pregnancy with my son was very easy so I also assumed my body was created to make a bunch of people. Life has a way of changing our plans, though. After my divorce and many years of being single, I realized I would have just the one child, for whom I am so grateful and in whom I am so delighted. Being a foster parent and adopting have been considerations, but there seems never to be enough time or resources to consider a grueling process like that. Still, I have at times mourned for the children I did not have. Until now.
Over the last year, my son’s adventures in junior high have given me a new perspective. My son has the heart of a social worker, so when one of his friends doesn’t have a ride to football practice or to a social outing, he calls to ask if we can take that person. I have had the honor of “adopting” lots of stray kids who need a little extra support or who just enjoy having dinner with us. I also have dozens of other kids in my life as a result of church, good friends, and now nieces and a nephew. They all make me laugh, some of them even calling me “mom,” which I love hearing. I have been able to see many of my son’s friends grow from kindergarten through junior high, so I cheer for them as if they were all my own. The very best part is that every time we have one of these magnificent creatures to our house or give a ride or provide a meal, my son hugs me and says “thank you” simply because I helped him help someone else or just supported a friendship important to him.
I am not without the family I had hoped for; it just doesn’t look like I thought it would. I am instead blessed with dozens of smart, beautiful, funny, resourceful and remarkable children.