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Beyond the white picket fence The Making of A Family by:Anne-Marie Britt

Monday's CHILDE

Most families are born traditionally...mine was born on a bitter November night on the first official day of the Christmas season...Black Friday, on cold cement front porch steps.

After fostering for almost a year, I was familiar with the calls that meant I was either getting a child or waiting to learn the child went somewhere else. I didn’t know by 9:15pm on that night, that my daughter would walk up the cold cement porch steps and through the door. She was 4 years old and petrified. She was born to me that night from violence and trauma and abuse. Delivered by a caseworker neither one of knew or would ever see again.

Like all new mothers and children, we had to learn about each other and bond. But unlike a traditional infant birth, my “skin to skin” time was as she sobbed in fear that I was a stranger as she simultaneously clung to me for safety. My home was unfamiliar but seemed quiet and stable. Her new “brother” was kind and understanding but also new and wasn’t from “her street world”.

The other hard part of foster care long was this to last? One night? One year? One lifetime? I was MOM from that first night but it took 3 years before I officially knew for sure.

I loved her through night terrors and forensic interviews. Therapy sessions that left even the therapist shaken, panic attacks, IEP meetings at school, court hearings and I loved her as I taught her how to navigate like a ”regular girl-not a street kid“ (her words) in the world. She was always my daughter...but born to me through a flawed system.

Adoption comes from pain and sorry and grief.

Our big rainbow unicorn adoption party I three in May was a celebration as a family that we did it! The end of the culmination of difficult years of her case (in the meantime adding my daughters bio sister who was born in this process) as well as a send off from the foster case system to our forever. A celebration that we made it ...together....through it all!

My family’s future is bright and promising. We look forward to years together in the hope of God‘s promises.

But our beginning, our birth as a family? It’s sacred. It’s uniquely woven together by what only could be God‘s plan. On the cold cement front porch steps on a bitter Colorado November night.

I thank God every day that I let Him write my story.

I had no idea that on that night I would open the door to meet my first daughter. I had no idea by opening that door I‘d gain another daughter 2 years later.

That is the beauty and the heartbreak in foster care...something none of us would ever change, and the very thing we celebrate.

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