Tuesday, October 26, 2010

How Important is DNA?

I am a foster parent.  Most of you know that.  I am just now starting to write about it on this blog because I really didn’t want people to think I was trying to come off as self-righteous.  I am just sharing my thoughts and experiences as I venture into this uncharted territory.  After all, isn’t that what most blogs are about?
I was talking with an acquaintance the other day.  I said something about my daughters, that person interrupted me and said, “You mean your daughter and your foster daughter.” 
Ummm.  Okay.  I didn’t realize I had to break it down like that.
IMG_9636-1
I picked up Little Lady straight from the hospital when she was 2 days old.  We knew before she was born that we were more than likely going to have her in our home.  We got “the call” the day after she was born.  I had been praying for her safety and protection about a month before she was born.  I made sure I was careful not to pray for her to go to me, but for her to go to safe place.  We had her brother and I saw what that environment did to him.
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The first month of her life I went to many appointments with her.  I watched her struggle.  I watched helplessly as she agonized through things my body has never experienced.  The only things I could do were to pray for her and love on her. 
The second month of her life I calculated and charted feedings.  I analyzed bowel movements and urine smells.  I switched formulas, I bought gas relief drops, I went to more appointments.
Finally, I think we have her digestive system working properly and her body is clean.  She is starting to really chunk up.  :-)  On her 2 month birthday she finally graduated out of newborn clothes and into 0-3 months.  We have broken the 8 pound mark!
In the middle of the night when she cries for a feeding, diaper change, or consoling, I promptly hop out of bed and give her what she needs.  She is soothed by the sound of my whispers in her ear.  No matter how fussy she may get, laying on me with her cheek on my chest calms her down.
I did the same things with my (biological) son, Cole.  I did them again with my (biological) daughter, Charley.
Yes, there is a piece of paper sitting in some file at the courthouse that has someone else’s name down as “mother”.  Yes, I know that she is not legally ours and that at any time she could be taken from us (that haunts my dreams and is a topic for another day).  Yes, I pray that one day my name will be on that piece of paper and she will be legally ours.

Biological Daughter
Foster Daughter
Adoptive Daughter

They all have one common denominator – daughter.  So when I talk about my daughters or my kids, I mean all 3 of them. 
family
Just exactly how important is DNA, anyway?
Kim
P.S. Sorry about the creepy way the baby looks with no face, but I cannot put her face on the blog, rules are rules.

I am linking this post up at Things I Can’t Say for Pour Your Heart Out.

33 comments:

  1. you are more mother to them than some biological mothers are!

    I hope you get to keep the little lady in your family.

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  2. I think this is a wonderful post and you should definitely be calling her your daughter! No matter what happens and where she ends up, she already has a very special place in your heart!

    And I love that you are discussing the topic of foster parents on your blog. There really needs to be more wonderful foster parents like you and maybe you will motivate a few to step forward and love a child who so badly needs it!

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  3. It is so wonderful that you are a foster family. My parents did that for a while between adopting my older brother and adopting me. You truly are a mother and blessing to that little girl.

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  4. You don't have to break it down like that! Don't do it. That's their issue. Ditto to what Mizzler Co said!!!

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  5. It sounds like you are a blessing to her. The fact that you don't feel the need to differentiate between bio/foster/adoptive is beautiful.

    I linked you up- I don't know what was going on with the linky earlier!

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  6. I used to work in foster care and always had the utmost respect and admiration for the foster families I got to work with. Bless you for the things you do and choices you make.

    Visiting from PYHO.

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  7. My son is adopted out of foster care. We were more than willing to adopt, but I have the utmost admiration for foster parents because I just do not think I have the emotional capacity to handle that situation. Kudos to you.

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  8. thank you for sharing your heart. i am learning that a bond is a bond and love is love. DNA doesn't mean much.

    thank you for sharing your heart. i will continue to pray for little lady and God's will.

    God bless you! :)

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  9. AMEN to that! I say the same thing about my stepchildren...there isn't any difference in my heart or head between my 2 stepkiddos or my bio son. They're just "my 3 kids". Period. Why some people feel the need to separate, label, clarify is beyond me.

    Families are made in all different, beautiful ways. Who cares how?

    I am going to share your post with my sweet friend Sandi who has 15 kids, 11 of them are adopted :)

    And I'm glad you clarified about the picture....I was looking really close to see if I could figure out (on my phone) what I was seeing :)

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  10. You are 10x the mother some bio moms I know are!

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  11. what a great post, kim!! you are a fabulous mother. and how unselfish for you to take on a baby in so much need. your heart must be overflowing with love.

    yay for her gaining weight and getting back on track. i can't even imagine all that her body went through to rid herself of the toxins. praying for her to continue to grow. do you still have her brother? how long will have them?

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  12. Thank you for sharing your story with all of us. I think what you are doing is a wonderful thing. She is your daughter no matter if the DNA matches or not. You have taken care of that baby since the second she came into your life.

    Taking care of your daughter touched a special place in my heart because I am adopted. My mom and dad have had me since the day I was born. They have never thought of me as their adoptive daughter. I have always been their daughter and they have always been my mom and dad.

    DNA doesn't make a family, love makes a family. I see that you have a lot of love for yours. I am glad to see she is doing so much better and gaining weight!!!

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  13. DNA has so little to do with what makes a family in reality.

    Enjoy your beautiful daughter. I can't wait to see pictures of her for real. You tricked me with that first shot, and I got all excited you had her permanently.

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  14. I am raisisng 2 children that are not my own I opened my arms for them to hold them the same way I do for my own and they are all in my heart they are all my children

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  15. I teared up reading this! How lucky that little girl is to have you in her life, and how lucky you are to have her in yours. I pray for her continued safety in your care. Oh and you look GORGEOUS in that family portrait. Apparently late night feedings and snugglies with a little 8 pounder suit you. :-)

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  16. I admire you so. You're a great mom. (Note, I say mom and not mom & foster mom).
    Quick question, if I may... - where's Little Man?

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  17. Wow you are such a strong and wonderful person! I have a stepdaughter and people expect me to clarify which daughter I'm talking about...mine or his. I hate it!

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  18. That is beautiful....some people need to keep their mouths shut! Of course she is your daughter and of course you are her mommy. Parenting is WAY more than DNA.

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  19. What you are doing is wonderful. And what a blessing to be able to trust our Creator to work things out how He deems best, even though it can be painful for us.

    My husband's aunt has 4 adopted children now (The youngest of her 3 bios is 21 now.) She also received one of them as a foster child when he was just two days old.

    Love them and fill them with knowledge just like Moses & Samuel's mothers did. They left their homes at a young age but the precious early years made a life long effect on them. (But we'll pray that yours can stay longer anyway!)

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  20. Wow. Thank you so much for the encouraging comments! You all are so great.
    I have seen a few questions about Little Man. Little Man is Little Lady's brother (but different fathers).

    Little Man came into our home with everyone knowing that he would soon be going to his permanent home with his dad. There were some bumps along the way, Little Man ended up getting his case specialized due to his significant delays and behavioral issues. Since he was classified as specialized, he needed to be placed in a specialized home. He went to a home that is specifically trained for behavioral issues to work through problems so he can return to his dad. His dad has wanted to have custody of him since he found out that Little Man was taken into foster care. We pray for Little Man's success.

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  21. As one who was adopted and has felt the love of a Daddy, I can tell you that you are are being Little Lady's mom. Anyone can mother, as in carry a child, but a real woman is a mommy! It is your selfLESS love that has made all the difference in her life. You are such an inspiration to me. God bless.

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  22. She is lucky to have you in her life... regardless of what that piece of paper says.

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  23. Foster parents are a blessing from God...and i am sure that you will be blessed for taking care of such a precious gift!

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  24. I can't wait for your youngest daughter and my daughter to meet and chill at Blissdom, their mama's had fun last year I know they will in 2011 ;)

    I am always amazed in a bad way at people who "correct" parents and feel the need to classify families. You are her mom and she knows it which is what makes you such a great one.

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  25. Kim I have no words... how someone could be so thoughtless to actually say that out loud is kind beyond me... A mother can be so many things.. foster, step, adoptive.. but you are right. You are STILL HER MOTHER. and she is going to sleep at night knowing her mum ( or mom) loves her :)
    I hope she is settling and growing everyday :) smooches from Australia

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  26. This is from my friend, Tina. I love the conversation she had with her daughter ...
    http://oneblessednest.blogspot.com/2010/10/on-love-orphans-towels-yes-towels.html

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  27. Kim, I am so, so thrilled for you. You are not just a wonderful mother (and she is very lucky to be with you), you are an all-around amazing PERSON.

    I'm sorry that person said that to you, but glad you aired it. It really is mind-boggling how people have such bad misconceptions about what "mother" means.

    xo

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  28. Foster parenting and adoption are such wonderful things. Thank you for sharing your heart on the issue. My sister's sons are adopted. They were 3 and 4 when they came to our family. It's been such a unique but wonderful experience. I have learned so much. I think some people just don't understand. My sister gets irritated when people say, "Since you couldn't have your OWN kids...." She's like they ARE my kids. Who's kids do they think they are? I think if I hadn't experienced this with her, I might not have been so understanding. I think it's great to use your blog to educate people one what adoption and foster parenting is all about. I hope everything works out wonderfully for you and your little girl.

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  29. I love reading your blog, but the babies face does look really creepy scribbled out... why not past a smiling baby cartoon face over her face: someting like this, maybe? http://www.asvector.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/baby-vector.jpg

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