Because I have no kids of my own, more than many say to me, “these girls are your children” (and they are to me and their children are grand-babies), but it is not motherhood…it’s a completely different “hood”…. an Otherhood.
Motherhood starts from the time they are born until (in most cases) you die. Moms are not perfect…a mom may yell, she may get angry, she may not be consistent at times, she may not know how to cope some times, she may expect too much, demand too much, or push too much or she may be too busy or distracted by her own cares so much to the point that she doesn’t see your needs and cares. She may have even been neglectful, abusive or even absent. Or she may be like my mom…a pot-head, alcoholic who was so consumed with finding love that she didn’t love the one right next to her. I love my mom; I trusted her, even though she disappointed me more times than not. It’s a special bond, loyal to the end…a bond from birth.
My relationship with these young women starts with no trust. They have so many scars, not only because of neglect and disappointment, but also the wounds of abandonment, being social outcasts and the jail-house mentality of the orphanage they call home. They believe that love is accepting them the way they are and any attempt to help them grow as a person is met with…you will only love me if I change to what you want me to be not who I am.
Alina who has been in my life the longest and the only woman to truly work the project to become the best mom she can be, still does not have the desire to build a more intimate relationship, that would take her being vulnerable. I pray that God would heal her heart as only He can so she can one day trust someone who has been consistent in her life.
I open my home and pour into these ladies which requires rules, structure and input into their lives that they push against daily. They want your help by doing it for them, not helping by modeling and equipping them to do things themselves.
Jesus said, “ Whoever loses their life for me will find it” – Matthew 16:25. Jesus risked Himself on me. How can I not risk my life on these women? They may not love me back. They may humble me, humiliate me, reject me, shatter my heart, and drive a shard into my soul, but this is not the part that matters. What matters most, is not if our love makes other people change, but that in loving, I change. What matters is that in the sacrificing to love someone we become more like Christ. (Ann VosKamp, in my words). My Otherhood is a series of risks in my life that I do not regret, for the sake of the one (prayerfully many) that will be with me in eternity worshiping God.