Tales of Fostering

She’s Not Mine

mikayla dancing with both“She’s not mine.” That is my immediate thought whenever someone compliments her soft blond curls, beautiful brown eyes, or adorable personality. I hate thinking it, and I hate saying it, but I also hate smiling and pretending that any part of her belongs to me. My husband and I have been fostering an adorable 34-inch tall cutie patootie for nearly three months, and she has me wrapped around her tiny finger as though she were my own.

But she’s not my own. She’s not mine.

I hadn’t realized how much it hurt until I attended my cousin’s wedding last weekend. As I looked around, I couldn’t help but notice that at every table sat moms and dads with their children; while on the outside, we looked just like them, we weren’t. I’m not her mother. He’s not her father.

She’s not mine. 

Throughout the evening, several people would casually stop me to ask how old she was and then compliment her pretty dress. With each one, I would smile back and say, “She’s three, and thank you.” I felt like an imposter. They thought I was her mother, but she’s not mine.

Throughout the reception, many people would make comments such as, “She sure is a cutie” and “You sure do have a pretty little one.” Each compliment made me smile, but right before I would respond with a “thank you,” my head would slowly lower as I was reminded that she’s not mine. 

Once the music was turned up, and I stood amongst the other “moms” watching their children dance in the middle of the dance floor, the words, “she’s not mine,” kept resounding in my mind. Whenever I pointed out to someone her cute dance moves, my smile would quickly fade as I remembered her lively personality, adorable shoulder shake, and magnetic smile didn’t come from me because she’s not mine.

Daniel dancing with Mikayla

At one point in the evening, I couldn’t find her or my husband, but I eventually spotted the two of them dancing together in the corner. It was the most precious sight as he held her, swaying back and forth, with her head resting on his shoulder. As I sat down to watch, tears began to fill my eyes as I thought, “she’s not mine.”

The words “she’s not mine” have never echoed so loudly in my heart as they did that night. But as we drove home, I glanced in the backseat, then back again at Daniel. While staring at him and feeling the warm touch of his hand holding mine, I couldn’t help but smile as I silently whispered, “she’s not mine, but he is.”

Too often in life, I get so focused on what I don’t have or what isn’t mine that I overlook or forget the gifts and blessings God has already given me. My husband is the most incredible man I have ever met. He’s smart. He’s kind. He’s gentle. He’s handsome. He’s a man after God’s own heart, and he’s mine. All mine.

With Love

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69 thoughts on “She’s Not Mine”

  1. You made me bawl! It is very easy to lose sight of the love you have for your husband when dealing with infertility, but I know you appreciate the blessing of a Godly husband. One day you will have beautiful children that won’t be yours either–you will carry them and provide for them and love them more than your own life, but they will ultimately belong to God!! Praying that day is soon!!

  2. I’ve share similar moments with other children in my care, and it does hurt, in a bitter sweet way. Oh those poignant moments, when God through our pain reminds us of what we do have….wonderful blog. Thank you again, you inspire me.

  3. I know that feeling Elisha. I’ve taken care of a few children with safe families and a few of my own relatives children when they were sure they wanted to parent. The feelings always penetrated my inadequacies. But like you said that’s what happens when you focus one what you don’t have instead of what you have. Our husbands are total blessings to us. It’s so important to remember that always.

  4. This is such a wonderful thing to realize! He is yours!! I struggle with that as well, focusing on what we don’t have rather than what we do. I try to thank God for all those things I have when I pray and it helps me take inventory of my blessings. This is a very sweet post 🙂

  5. I’m so emotional right now and can’t stop crying. Is it wrong that I wish you could keep her? She may not be yours, but you are a mother to her. Yes, she has another mother, and she may only be with you for a short time, but the love and care you have shown her will stay with her through her entire life. I’m sure of it! And it’s so true, these amazing men in our lives really are such a gift. It’s easy to lose sight of that on this journey, but yes, you a good one there. He really is a blessing, and he’s so blessed to have you too!

  6. God has given you the chance to take care of such a precious girl. He has given her the opportunity to have a true mother/father figure in her life. If she looks at you I am sure she thinks “she is mine.” Don’t forget that The Lord works in mysterious ways, if you don’t feel like she is yours or can ever be yours, then how can you be hers?

      1. no i haven’t! When did you post it? Things have been hectic lately with my Mamma and today we had court for Goldilocks so I am a bit behind on my reading :/ I am hoping to be all caught up by the end of the week.

      2. I am doing okay. I haven so distracted with things that I haven’t had time to sit and dwell on it. Tomorrow is the funeral so I’m sure it will all sneak up on me then.

  7. I loved this post! Thanks so much for writing it and showing the emotions that so many of us have felt in such an eloquent fashion. Taking care of others’ children can be so heartbreaking sometimes! I know when I was a nanny I would get similar compliments from people on how great of a mother I was when I would calm the baby I was watching while at a restaurant before she got fussy, or when I had others’ kids with me at the store or the park. There was always an initial pain in my heart when I would get compliments like that and my first thought would be, “she’s/they’re not mine”. Lately, I’ve come to realize that these strangers were seeing the kind of mother I would have been if I had been given the opportunity, and you know what? They were right. I am a great mother. I just happen to not have any children of my own (legally or biologically).

    1. You are going to be a great mother. I believe that you will be a mother one day. Don’t give up hope 🙂

  8. What a beautiful reminder for all of us! It really is so easy to see what we don’t have it what we feel is lacking in our lives. Thank you for the reminder to see what I DO have!

    1. So glad you enjoyed it! It is so important to not focus on what we don’t have…that will only breed jealously, bitterness, and envy :/

  9. Crying!! Partly because I have felt that pain and partly because you were so raw and honest. I read every one of your blogs even though I don’t always reply and I am ALWAYS praying for you and Dan.

    1. awe thank you so much! I know you are one of my biggest supporters and such a huge encouragement to me. I appreciate you so much!

  10. Such a great post. You are such a wonderful person and while Goldilocks may not be yours, she’s so lucky to have you in her life. XO

  11. What a sweet post (aren’t all of yours) I love that even though you didn’t birth her that you are her ‘mom’ right now – that there is so much purpose in that, and that you and Dan get to parent her together!!!! Even more exciting when Josiah is here! Y’all are going to be wonderful parents!

  12. Loved it! Love your writing. Your posts are one of the few I read start to finish. Beautiful.

  13. I couldn’t help but cry. I’ll be approaching thirty next month & when I was younger all I ever wanted to be was a wife & a mother. It seems as if I’m starting to go on withdrawal focusing on what I don’t have but I thank you so much for opening my eyes to see I am greatly blessed to have my husband.

  14. Gorgeous! As always Elisha, you take a negative thought and turn it into something to be grateful for. If getting pregnant was down to positive thinking and deservedness you would be inundated with bottles, booties and pushchairs! I think people probably look at you three and see only a beautiful thing and no one else will be focused on the fact she isnt yours. It doesn’t help the situation to be any better, but sometimes I find it helpful to remind myself of what other people probably perceive when i am looking too much at the ‘don’t haves’. At the end of the day she may not be yours, but what you both give her will be something that goes far beyond the importance of who she belongs too. Hugs honey xxx

    1. Thank you so much! I plan on doing a post soon how I keep sane while fostering. Hopefully it will help you as you go through your foster to adopt. We are not in the program of fostering to adopt but I’m sure it will still help.

  15. Wow, thank God for our husbands. I don’t know how I could handle this infertility stuff without him. And that little girl is one blessed little girl to have you all caring for and loving her- no matter how long she stays with you. The love you show her will indeed influence her for the rest of her life.

    1. Yes, thank God for amazing husbands! I sure hope you are right about it influencing her for the rest of her life. I often wonder if she is too young to remember.

  16. This was beautifully written. I had a lump in my throat and was holding back tears! You and your husband are so wonderful for taking care of this little girl, even if she is not staying with you. I have no doubt she will take your love with her wherever she goes.

    1. I hope so. I often look at her and wonder if she will remember any of this…sometimes I hope not because I don’t want her to remember what it was like to be in foster care and deal with all the emotional aspects of it. If anything, I just hope and pray she only remembers the good aspects of this time in her life. xo

  17. She may not be yours, but that moments you have together always will be. So glad you’re glass is half full and you know your husband IS yours now and forever.

    1. thank you! Sometimes it’s so easy to lose sight of what we do have but I’m thankful I was reminded that night…and ever since that night, I haven’t forgotten the blessings that are right in front of me. xo

  18. Totally cried! ❤️

    As my husband and I get further and further towards the adoption option, those fears consume me. But God had a reason for bringing her into your life.

    You are HER miracle right now. You are hers.

    1. Nah she isn’t even close to being in the adoption stage. Daniel and I have talked about it though and truthfully we are not interested. She has two other siblings (with other host parents) and they really need to try and be adopted together. Also, it wouldn’t be a closed adoption and her mom already knows our address. (awkward) Not to mention all the grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc will be fighting to see her all of the time. I just think it would be more than I could handle.

  19. Crying along with everyone else while reading this! Those pictures are so beautiful. She may not be your biological little girl, but Gods given Goldilocks to you as your “safe home” little girl for such a time as this. I don’t know exactly why he brought her into your lives, but I just know that she is part of a big picture God is beautifully orchestrating and preparing for when you have a baby that is “yours.” I’ve been thinking a lot lately, our children always are going to have to leave the nest, but the hubby will not leave until death due us part. I’m so glad you have such a treasure in Daniel- and he definitely has a treasure in you, butternut! Love you!

  20. She may not be yours permanently, but she’s yours now, and you are hers. I just stumbled upon your blog from someone else’s and I love the way you write. Thank you for sharing this vulnerable, beautiful post.

  21. Love love love this post! Since starting this infertility journey, I’ve asked myself several times, “Would I rather be fertile with another man or infertile with my husband?” Without a doubt I would always pick infertile with my husband!!

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