family for today

imageDear Foster Daughter,

Welcome to your new home for a while. Today, you made me the most dad like person I’ve ever been. How weird is that? The singalongs, car dancing, Costco yelling, and brief tea party after I came home from work were the perfect introduction to being the dad of a four year old, even if only for this unknown length of time we get to be together.

I know life’s been pretty weird for the entirety of your life. I also know I don’t even know. I do know that you’re really loved though. You’re loved by your birth parent that’s fighting to figure out how to enter your life in a more whole way again. You’re loved by incredible, sacrificial foster parents before us that have raised you into the burst of sunshine you are today. You’re loved by friends and family and community members you don’t even know. You’re surrounded by love. And yet, tonight as you held my hand from the backseat of the car and wished out loud to be with so many others that weren’t with us, love didn’t feel like enough. What a mess, right?

But here you are: Snoozing across our little hallway, surrounded by stuffed animals you can’t remember the names of, in a house that’s gonna be a home for a while even when that doesn’t make any sense.

You should know that me and your new foster mom are a real hot mess. We’ve got all kinds of crap we’re refiguring out everyday. Tonight after you fell asleep we argued about how to watch the olympics…as if that matters in comparison to anything we just experienced today. But we argued anyway. I sat silently staring off down the hallway thinking about how unqualified I am to operate a tv, let alone help raise you up in this formative time of life right now. But here we all are anyway.

Tonight we talked about how when our family needs to go to Costco, we all go even when we don’t want to and I sort of wanted to tear up because in that moment I acknowledged out loud that we, for today, are in every way a family. What a wild adventure you’re embarking on. I don’t think any of us have any idea what kind of beautiful collision our lives have entered into. I’m really excited to see what happens next though. The months ahead are really going to be something. And maybe, when you’re old enough to understand any of this, you won’t even remember who I am. I hope to God though, that you’d know you were loved and that even when it didn’t seem like enough, it was all we had and that was that.

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