A woman in our dance community has been fostering children over the past year. She and her husband had four little children, age eight months to twelve years old, for most of the year before they went back to their parents. On Monday night this week, she brought her newest foster children, a two year old little girl and her four week old baby brother. The conditions of their placement in the foster system are unknown to me, my entire being just resonated with a mothering instinct for the beautiful little children, especially the baby.
My sister-in-law came by class just to watch briefly with my niece. When she saw the baby crying, she knew she had to stay and comfort him outside of class while our friend danced. As an expecting mother, my sister-in-law has surging motherhood hormones racing through her body, adding to the mothering instinct she already has. She swaddled and bottle-fed the little boy and he gazed lovingly into her eyes. I wanted to do everything in my power to help protect him. If I had limitless money and time, I would adopt all the children in the world to give them the love they deserve.
We spent the whole class with these children, talking about how sad it must be for such a tiny baby to be separated from its mother. "It just makes me remember, though, how lucky we are." I thanked my sister-in-law silently as she said these words. I can simultaneously have compassion for all the less fortunate families while still appreciating what I do have. My sister-in-law continued, "For my birthday this year, my dad wrote my card instead of my mom. He wrote something simple like, 'You are the luckiest girl in the world. You have everything you could ever want, what more could you ask for.' It's true, all of my dreams have come true." I admire her sincere gratitude for the simple and yet meaningful gifts we have in our lives. Spending time with these beautiful and loving children was a simple gift for us yesterday, both to share our love with them, but also to remember to count our blessings.