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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.

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