By Sometimes Mom
Thinking back to March 8, 2019 I strutted into work donning my International Women’s Day shirt in response to a coworker having nerve to say he didn’t want feminism thrown in his face. My main goal for International Women’s Day was to be as in his face as possible. Sadly, my mission was halted when I discovered this particular coworker was out of the office that day.
But my focus quickly shifted when I received the call. My husband and I were newly licensed foster parents that had not yet gotten a placement, but on March 8, 2019, that changed.
Place with us was a 3 year old girl...for the weekend, maybe longer. Back then I didn’t know what questions to ask the social worker and it wasn’t until I hung up the phone that I realized I didn’t even know the little girl’s name.
We had completed the foster parent training classes, set up the room, bought the supplies, but I’m sure all parents would agree that nothing truly prepares you for the real thing. We were unprepared but we got lucky with this little girl. We brought her to the local children’s museum and the park, she bonded with us very quickly. It felt easy and natural even though foster care at its core, is anything but. She left us four days later. As unprepared as I was to become a mother, I was less prepared for the pain of having that role taken from me so soon. I didn’t know if I could go through that pain again. But us women are stronger than you think. Our strength may not always be in your face, but it is there, and it comes from deep within.
You never forget your first placement, but the same is true of my second, fourth and even my eighth. These children leave and probably even forget me in time but to me, they will always be my kids.
International Women’s Day is the day I became a mom for the very first time, which makes these two events intrinsically linked for me. Becoming a foster mom has stretched me as a person and expanded my capacity to love in a way that is truly unconditional. It has even given me a sense of compassion for my children’s biological parents, an outcome I was not expecting when I started this journey.
Motherhood and womanhood are interconnected for me, but that is certainly not the case for all women. What it means to be a woman is different for everyone and that is something to celebrate in itself.
To my fellow women: be strong, be courageous, and don’t ever be afraid to throw your strength in their face.
Happy International Women’s Day!