The House on Wood Street is tall and imposing. I remember when I first saw her. I was driving a side street and I noticed behind the tall redwood tree’s there was a large bird of paradise plant with dramatic flowers. I didn’t really notice the structure itself. I remember the flower speaking, telling me to take notice.
I have lived in this house now over thirteen years. We were quiet content in our first home. It fit us wonderfully, on a hill with views and lots of natural light. When we opened our hearts to fostering we were quickly told it was not big enough for what our hearts and hands would welcome, so we moved to The House. She was built in 1904 and has withstood the hands of time with very few alterations. As we moved in on a cold winter day our first young momma came with her baby and her things. It was a house for others from day one.
Fostering has given way to adoption and I have always kept my mind on the original heart beat and vision. Every child deserves a home, a place of belonging and purpose. A place to launch from and a place to return. I know longing, and heart-break from a place of empty heart and womb. Adoption is a beautiful story of family for many individuals and the reasoning is as complex as those who make this choice. My story was somewhat more happen stance. I saw a need and I said yes and guess what, that does not make me a mom. My love for them does. There is this thing that happens, you wake up and notice you even love their stink. You want whats best for them even more than you want whats best for yourself. Sometimes that doesn’t lead to adoption but loving them from a distance and carrying them always in the place that only they can hold.
I do not require that the children of our family call me mom. I can read their faces and know their ways. I speak brokenness and miss trust fluently. “Mom” just the very word stirs up vision and expectation and some are not good. There is confusion and strings attached and I am patient. In my mind I am patient. I rationalize the lack of title and have fully convinced myself, I want to be fine with it.
One day I am doing my household chores, tending to the house. I take a break and sit outside and look up and the reflections in the window looks as if she is winking at me. Not teasingly but assuredly. I was fussing over my place and my identity, I will admit. I want to be the mom and I want all due respect. I want to be adored and favored, I want to be their everything…The House spoke to me, it was the oddest thing. She told me they were not ready and it will come, but for now she would stand in proxy. She would hold them in her belly, keeping them safe and warm. Sheltering them and giving them a place to heal. She will raise them up and never ask for anything in return. I was humbled, this is truth. The House on Wood Street stands in proxy for all the mom’s who could not, and I am honored to call her home.
I answer to many names; The sweetest name is the one that comes from them. It sounds like a song that only they can sing.