When I gave out a few gifts here at Christmas time, I had no idea one of them would demand so much from me. Shawn Smucker won a guest post, and as we began talking on Twitter, I learned that fostering children was a topic close to his family’s heart, and so I admitted, quietly as you can on a giant social network, that I had once been a foster mom.
It isn’t something I talk about often or in detail because, years after we stopped fostering, the emotional tangle of it all is still so often too much. And I certainly hadn’t been able to write about it yet. Writing, for me, is the most personal expression of the heart. I had never felt quite ready.
But Shawn and I became friends, and his care with writing and for people were the gentle push I needed. His would be the place to entrust this story. It was time to write a small piece, to begin to unravel the tangle.
So I wrote just a part of a story long waiting, and I grieved hard through the writing. But I came out on the other side of the page a little more solid than when I ventured in. And I’m grateful for the catharsis of finally telling this story in the way I know best– in writing, the most personal expression of the heart.
Please join me at Shawn’s blog today for my first story on fostering, Mama for a Moment.
On March 27, Shawn’s e-book, Building a Life Out of Words, will be available on Kindle, Nook, and PDF. He tells the story of hitting rock bottom and moving his family into his parents’ basement, where, incredibly, he found his purpose: Writing. His brave story of making a living as a writer is an inspiration, and his beautiful storytelling is a gift.
You can join his mailing list to get a free chapter and a link to pre-order the book.