We accepted a foster placement.
I know, I know. One minute I’m complaining about how ridiculously busy I am, and the next, we add a foster baby into the mix.
I’m a sucker. What else can I say?
A very wise woman, my Baba, once said to me, “Jamie, I just want you to have a baby, and then you’ll be happy.”
At the time, I was 23 years old and wanted nothing to do with babies. I couldn’t even conceive of how having a baby would make me happy. My career made me happy. My boyfriend made me happy. My friends made me happy. But a baby? That just sounded like work. And what an “un-feminist” thing to suggest! All you need is a baby to make you happy? Then why did I bother going to university? No, no, I don’t need a baby to make me happy, I thought. My career will make me happy.
Here I am, fourteen years later, and I finally realize the wisdom of her words. She was talking about a different kind of happiness. A deep happiness. A happiness of the soul. At the age of 23, all I had known was superficial happiness.
Having a foster baby in my life makes me happy on a cellular level. It makes my whole being happy, even when I’m bone-tired and run off my feet.
Without a child, my life is lack lustre. My beautiful, important career suddenly seems phony and immature and shabby. I have no direction. I have no purpose. I’m just a tired, old, selfish actress. But with a child, I know what I’m supposed to be doing. I know my role. I know my purpose. Once I have my role pinned down, then everything else just lines up.
For many years, I could not understand why anyone would want to have children. Seriously. I just COULD NOT understand the desire to procreate and raise offspring. I got stuck on the idea that there was only one way to be a parent – by giving birth. Once I let go of that narrow view of parenthood, I found my niche. I found the form of parenting that felt right to me.
I’m a foster parent, I’m good at it, and it makes me happy. Deeply happy.