Love is in the air so we are going to a Wedding
Our family is going to a wedding next week…Not just any wedding. My husband has been asked to walk the bride down the aisle, but the bride is not one of our daughters. This beautiful bride is the birth mother of our two foster/adopted children.
We met our children’s birthmother 13 years ago. She was caught in the ravages of drug addiction and all of the pain and consequences that go with it. How she got to that point in her life was an all too familiar tale of the heart breaking cycle of family tragedy, abuse and family disruption.
We had always hoped to adopt children, but we had never planned to be involved with the biological family. Thankfully, our foster parent trainers taught us that research indicated better long-term outcomes for children in foster care if they had some contact with their birth family. That training would become life changing for us.
We became foster parents to a beautiful daughter and a sweet son. Our inspired social worker arranged a meeting with us and the children’s birth mother. When she came in the room, she seemed so exhausted and defeated by life. She had all the signs of addiction, but it was also obvious that she really loved her children and wanted a better life for them than continuing to repeat the cycle. We expressed our desire to keep her in their lives and she tried to trust us to keep our word.
That began an 11 year journey of ups and downs, hopes and disappointments, visits and missed visits. We had opportunities to go outside our comfort zone to take the children to see her…a couple times we even visited her in jail. Over the years we developed sincere compassion and a genuine love for our children’s birthmother. She became more than the children’s birthmother, she was part of our family, too. Caring for someone who is caught in addiction brings with it a looming dread of a phone call about an over dose, or worse, that the calls just stop without warning.
In June of 2017, the unthinkable happened! Not another overdose or another incarceration. This brave woman left her home state and everyone she knew to start on a journey to a drug free life. She enrolled in a drug rehabilitation program that took her from her Crisis to her Career. She is now drug free and sober for 20 months and helps other women to break the chains of addiction through her career as an addiction peer support counselor.
She met a wonderful man, who also works for the program, and together they are embarking on a new life of clean and sober living. My husband cried when she called to ask if he would walk her down the aisle. Several of her family members will be able to attend the wedding and her children will be by her side. We never dreamed that adopting two precious little children would bring so much extended family into our lives.
This birthmother we met 13 years ago has become our sister, our friend, our expert on addiction, our co-parent, and our treasured friend. We are blessed to know her and to watch this her miraculous recovery story, and to be part of her beautiful new marriage. So next week, we get to attend her wedding…I will be bringing the Costco pack of tissues.
NBFS Recruiter/Trainer – Louisvlle