I am beyond excited to be a part of Adoption Strong, and to spread the support, joy, and comfort this group of people will provide to each other and to our community. I bring a different perspective to the table, as I am not a mother (although I pray to experience that joy one day). My name is Taylor and I am a licensed clinical social worker, and I have worked closely with both children and families who have been involved in either adoption or foster care going on seven years now. Here’s a little bit about my story. My first job after graduate school was with the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS); I’m sure most of you are well aware of this agency. One of my first cases after training was a sibling group of five children whose parent had fatally overdosed in the middle of the night, and no family members were able to be located to care for the children. I was called out at 5:00am on a Sunday to find an open foster placement. The youngest child, who I believe was around 3 at the time, and I instantly clicked. He had the biggest blue eyes full of confusion and fear. I wanted so badly to take away his pain. Finally, late in the evening, we brought the children to their new foster homes. That youngest child fell asleep in my lap while we were talking with the foster parents and helping the children explore the home and warm up as best possible in such circumstances. As I went to lay the child down in his new bed, he woke up. When he realized I was leaving, he clung to me and began to cry, begging me not to leave. I had only known this child for several hours, yet he trusted me in some way, and it disturbed him to see me leave. Unfortunately, I could not stay. I comforted him as best I could and left with a heavy heart, even though I knew that he was in capable hands in his new home. I got into my car, and began sobbing. I’m talking about can’t breathe, huge tears, sobbing…the kind of crying that comes from deep within and exhausts you. And I did this until I pulled into my driveway. I sat in my car under my carport and prayed for that child and his family. Prayed that God would wrap His arms around that child to comfort him and his siblings. Prayed that God would give his foster family strength to nurture and comfort him. Prayed to trust that God’s plan was at work even though it was so difficult to understand at that time. And prayed that I would never forget that moment because it was such a feeling of raw emotion that I had never experienced, but that truly inspired me to try to make positive changes in the world to the best of my ability with God’s direction.
I have no idea what happened to that child, as I left the agency shortly after. However, I continue to pray for him, and I thank him for all that he taught me that day, as it was the start to my career and calling. That’s how it is for me most of the time…yes, I have knowledge about mental health, trauma, attachment, etc. However, I usually end up learning more from each child and family that I work with than they truly know. I have experienced many more difficult moments like that one in my career. My job is very hard at times, but it is nothing compared to the job you all do everyday as mothers. So, I want to take this opportunity to say “thank you” to all of the mothers and mothers-in-the-making out there. I do not think you hear that enough, especially when dealing with the foster and adoption systems, which are exhausting and frustrating and all the other millions of adjectives I could insert here. Thank you for answering God’s calling. Thank you for opening your hearts and your homes. Thank you for advocating for those who cannot advocate for themselves. Thank you for hanging in there when times get tough. Thank you for being selfless. Thank you for being genuine and honest. Thank you for loving more than you could have ever imagined. Thank you for living out God’s word every. single. day. Thank you for doing the hardest job on the planet…being a Mom. I am honored and inspired just to be a part of this group with you. Thank you, Taylor.
“However motherhood comes to you, it’s a miracle.” Valerie Harper