An adoption story about an amazing mother-daughter relationship
Mae moved between seven different homes while in foster care. After a tumultuous start to her life, she found her forever family in Sena. The two have an inseparable bond and an amazing mother-daughter relationship. Sena decided to share her sweet story and photo updates with us.
When I heard I was going to be Mae’s mom I was just finishing up the school day at my middle school - I had just taught my last class and had asked Cheri, Director of Adoption Services at Boys & Girls Aid, to call me right after the kids left so I could hear the ‘yes’ or the ‘not yet’. When she said ‘yes’, I was so excited I yahoo’d down the school hallway - and said I am going to be a mom! Everyone cheered back as I had shared my journey with kids and staff a like. Kids came in and were so happy for me, and so were my colleagues.
I met Mae in early November and drove up a long rural drive way in my Dodge Challenger - she peeked out from behind the outside stair way. She was dressed in a fancy dress - and when I asked if she was Tasha (she went by Tasha her first name then - now she uses her middle name) she said yes. I got out and said can I give you a hug - we hugged and it was then and there I knew this was perfect. I wanted to pack everything up and take her home immediately and I think she would have been game for it too. But we went through this process for the next week - and we drove home together that following Friday!
Mae is a joy and a challenge all at the same time. She has come so very far from where she began. I think that I love her resilience most of all, and her ability to stay happy even in the face of much that is negative. She is also very strong willed and will be a “boss lady”. She can read a room and read people immediately - a superpower almost when you think about it. She is smart and picks up new learning quickly - and she thrives in routines and clear expectations.
I have learned how important it is to be flexible, calm and see things for what they are currently - not what they “should be” or what “they were before”. I had skills like these before I was a parent, as a school teacher - and I am grateful for that experience - as I feel it allows me to move into the model I need when things “perk up” and need intervention. I have also shed the need to have other people approve of how or what I am parenting at the moment. The needs that Mae has are different and the way we move through to meet those needs will also be different - I don’t mind what others do in response, or what they “think” I should be doing.
Challenges have been to learn how to be the best parent for Mae and to trust my instincts. I have had to learn that sometimes you don’t know what to do - but that is okay too. She has showed me how important building relationships is and what builds them for children out of trauma is different.
I hope that Mae can find her passion and can live that out. I hope that she can find a way to engage fully with people in her life - and learn that love is endless and that you can love and have a variety of people in your life and you might love them differently but that is the beauty of love - in the end it is love. We continue to venture into the great wide world together - gaining understanding of the world around us (trips and experiences) and the world within us (lessons and sharing love). She can do anything she wants and I think she is learning this about herself slowly as well. We are breaking the cycle her birth family was in for generations - of poverty, addiction and challenges beyond compare.
It is important to support children in foster care because they are our children. I wish I could gather up all of the children I met in foster care, because there are so many in need of forever families. Opening my heart and family to a child who was here waiting for me, and me for her, has been the best part of my life. Not all families can open their homes but everyone can do their part to help the foster care system. I never wanted to have a child biologically because I felt deep down my love was meant for a child who was here already. She is my child biologically in that sense, she is a part of me.