By Melanie Wilson
It’s that time of year when everyone is thinking about the things they’re thankful for. This year I have a lot to be thankful for.
I am thankful for the tears, heartbreaks, frustrations, and sleepless nights.
I know those are not things most people are thankful for but let me tell you why I am thankful for these things.
I am thankful for the tears and heartbreaks because of the love that came before those things. If I hadn’t cried or felt like my heart was being ripped apart then I wouldn’t have had a chance to love 5 sweet boys. I have been able to love these sweet babies and care for them when their families couldn’t or wouldn’t. I have watched them grow and learn so much. I have watched some of their “firsts” like crawling, walking, words, etc. The BEST firsts so far is being called momma and seeing that tiny 6 week old finally smile.
I am thankful for the frustrations because I know I was standing up and fighting for these babies. I know some caseworkers probably have not enjoyed having me as a foster mom because I am not a sit back and let you do whatever you want with my kids kind of person. I know God called me to do this so that I would fight for these children. I know I will not always like the outcome but that doesn’t mean I will sit back and not say something. I will one day have to answer questions from God when I die and He will not have to be asking me why I didn’t say something or fight for a child.
I am thankful for the sleepless nights…. well sort of! I need my sleep but I know it’s more important to rock babies than get much sleep because I know these babies are safe. At 1:30 or 3:30 am it’s hard to be thankful but then they fall asleep and they look so sweet and I remember that they’ve been through more in their very short lives then I probably ever went through in my 30+ years. At least when I go back to bed I know they’re safe for the night.
I’m thankful for the people in my life. These precious 5 boys I’ve been given since I started fostering have taught me more about love and grace. My family has been so supportive and of course my parents have totally embraced the grandparent thing. My friends have answered all of my crazy questions and have helped beyond belief. My church family has covered us in prayers and love. Dr. Hogg and his office staff have been amazing and helped me navigate sick babies, medicaid, and vaccines because I had no clue about any of that. I am also thankful to the strangers. The strangers that are friends of friends and just heard of the things I needed and donated so many clothes, toys, and things to help life be a little easier. Also for those strangers that after hearing our story have prayed for us.
I am thankful that God has picked me to love these babies even through the tears, heartbreaks, frustrations, and sleepless nights.
DID YOU KNOW? There are so many organizations and churches collecting items for those in our community that are in need this holiday season. Consider making a donation. Here are just a few groups around town that I know of – Jaycees are doing their Toy MASH Drive December 13 & 14th at Walmart, the sheriff’s office has a list of families that need help, the Cane River Food Pantry is always in need of donations and will hand out food on December 14th, and of course most churches around town to some sort of collection so call one of them and see how you can help!