‘A couple sat in the courtroom, anxious if there was any update to the case of a baby they loved dearly. This crying woman wasn’t just a stranger, she was my soon-to-be-daughter’s foster mother.’

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“On one side of the courtroom, I sat with my husband and mother, anxiously awaiting to hear when we might get our baby. A baby who was coming to us in a unique way but was going to be our answer to a long prayer for children after we got our paperwork approved by the appropriate people.

On the other side sat another woman with her husband, waiting to hear if there was any update to the case of a baby, they both loved dearly. A baby they’d met in a high school gym, that they’d seen through some of the worse sickness than they’d ever seen in one so small.

The language of the ones talking was curt and professional, almost cold in a way, yet our tears were flowing as we surveyed the scene. This wasn’t a path that either of us would’ve chosen for ourselves, but God ordained that moment, that very day, as we, our husbands, and my mom, were ushered into a dusty side-room by a caseworker and introduced to each other.

This other crying woman wasn’t just a sympathetic stranger-she was my soon-to-be-daughter’s foster mother.

Lara was her mama from when she was three days old, to the warm day in mid-April when she and her husband Joe brought our girl home to us. God used that chance meeting to spark a friendship between Lara and me. During that time where we waited for i’s to be dotted and t’s to be crossed on our file, Lara and I talked. My husband and I got to Facetime with our girl, so she’d get used to our voices. We heard about her doctor’s appointments, her milestones, and what we’d need to further prepare for her arrival. We got precious photos from our girl’s first days that we wouldn’t otherwise have. They even invited us over to their home so we could meet our girl for the first time.

Courtesy Whitney Bennett

Since that day in April when Lara and Joe brought our girl to us, Lara has become one of my best friends. We talk nearly every day, whether it’s about the struggles of motherhood or just something to make us laugh. Lara’s seen our girl’s milestones, from her saying ‘Mama for the first time, to walking across the room. She’s where I go when I need to vent, or when I need an ear after someone says something thoughtless. Her family has come to birthday parties, dinner with us, and our baby dedication service. I call her when my girl is sick. We facetime with her when we can, and my girl recognizes Lara and her family as ‘her people.’ Lara was one of the very first people to know I was pregnant (and to be fair, that was partially because my husband didn’t answer his phone). When we had a complication that proved to be minor, her WHOLE family stopped to pray for us and prayed until we were in the clear. She’s my prayer partner, who I know prays as soon as I tell her what’s on my heart.

People are often surprised when I talk about my girl’s foster parents, especially that they’re still involved in our lives. I honestly don’t see HOW it could be any other way after they did so much for my girl. Foster parents make the ultimate sacrifice of loving children that they know will probably not stay, just like Lara and Joe did for our girl. Lara threw her entire heart into being her mama for two and a half months. My girl’s progress, and what she was able to overcome in her short life, is a direct reflection of that love and energy. Lara made a choice to love my girl, and she made a choice to love me. And, I sure am glad she did.”

Courtesy Whitney Bennett

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Whitney Bennett, 30, of Georgia. Follow her on Instagram here. Submit your own story here, and subscribe to our free newsletter for our best stories.

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