Turning 40 12/40

We added to our family through foster care a few years ago. I scored a new daughter out of the deal. I wasn’t sure she would stick with us but I knew we would always stick with her.

We became a family out of undesirable circumstances, as are all foster care placements. She walked in my door, I saw a picture of her in my mind’s eye about 28 at our family Christmas, and I knew she would be with us for years to come. I now see that moment as one where my heart was being imprinted, though I didn’t know it, much like a new slimy baby upon the chest of a mother immediately after delivery. I loved her. And I can’t unlove her.

We’ve had disappointment, betrayal, and heartbreak littering the road of love, faithfulness, and visions of healing. It has not been easy, but the greatest of endeavors never are.

My girl, Tearsa, has been the vehicle through which God has brought me healing, taught me about his grace and compassion- first for me before I can offer any of it to another. She is driving me to wholeheartedness. Or else I would have wrung her neck by now. She’s still a teenage girl, alright.

She’s been family for almost two years now, and this spring she uttered something profound. Overlooked by her. But I knew- it was a miracle. An everyday miracle. We have those often now. Last week it was relational conflict sans screaming and tears. That was a miracle. But this first everyday miracle was when she cast a vision of something good happening to her that was in her own words. She used her own words to talk about decorating an apartment she would have after she graduated with her social work degree. She gave word to thoughts about finishing college and living as an independent woman. Neither of which had ever been achieved in her family of origin. She is a pioneer and overcomer. I am so proud of her.

We were at a Kentucky derby party this year. I pointed out my children to a woman I had just met. She said, “Oh, I can see the resemblance between you and your oldest daughter.” I thanked her. I see the resemblance too.

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