Brittany wanted a mommy and a daddy so bad. Mimi told me that. Mimi and Poppa are the amazing and loving couple who fostered Brittany (and Katie) until they found us. Mimi and Poppa love her dearly, but they weren’t her mommy and daddy. Brittany tried to call them that. Because that’s what little kids do with their caregivers sometimes.
Imagine how it was for her. Learning to talk and not having anyone to call “Mommy.” Watching shows about and reading books about kids who have mommies and daddies. Being in mother’s day out, but having no mother. Maybe remembering a time when you think you had a mommy, but not really knowing where she is or if you even want to be with her.
And then one day Phillip and I showed up at her house. We showed a great deal of interest in her. We played with her and read to her. And she was ready, almost from the first day we met, to call us Mommy and Daddy. Strangers that she didn’t know. She was so desperate for a mommy and daddy.
How do kids do that? How do they love like that? How do they trust like that? Especially after being let down in the worst way. How was she ready to leave the home and family she’d known for over a year to come live with people she did not know? How could she be that brave at 2 1/2?
She wanted a mommy and a daddy. And so she willingly took us in. It might seem like we took her in, but she took us in first. She loved us first. She accepted us perfectly first. She put her fears aside for us first. With reckless abandon, she claimed us first. And she has patiently and lovingly waited for us to catch up. Forgiving our failures quicker than we’ve forgiven hers at times.
Brittany has displayed a picture of the fruits of the spirit while we have struggled with our new normal. Gentleness, patience, self-control, love, peace, joy, faithfulness, goodness, kindness… She has displayed all of these things better than we have.
I hope that we’re worth it. I hope that we were worth her wait. I hope that we will be more than she dreamed a mommy and daddy could be, instead of less. We’re catching up with her, by the way. But she definitely paved the way.