Today was Day 3 of our PRIDE classes. I was feeling super emotional at the beginning for some reason, well actually through out the whole session I guess. They say that this whole process is an emotional roller coaster. If ever I needed an example of that, today was the day.
The session today was filled with role playing. I HATE role playing. I am not a good actress. I certainly am no good at ad-libbing. Give me a script to read and I can get the job done. Have me try to come up with scripting?? and it's gonna be a super short interaction. Then you add in rules such as you cannot ask the "child" any questions. O_o Whaaaaat??? Grrrrrr...ugh I hate role playing. You cannot possibly prepare for every way that the child in your care may react. And no matter how you role play, you really don't know what you will say in a situation until you are IN the situation. I guess some people find role plays valuable and see them as excellent practice or learning experiences. I do not. Have I mentioned that I hate role playing?
One time that was a little difficult for me was when we had to pretend that we were about 7 years old. We had to list the things we would want to take with us if we had to suddenly leave our home. Then we had to write a journal entry that looked back on that time as if we could not bring those things with us. How would we feel? Well this was relatively easy for me because I knew what I'd want to bring for the most part. Topping the list were my cabbage patch doll Melisa, my Care Bear and my Strawberry Shortcake watch. I DID have to all of a sudden (for me) leave my home when I was about 6 and my parents separated for a period of time. Fortunately I didn't have to leave much, if anything behind. I did suddenly have to sleep by myself, in a strange room, that echoed because there wasn't much in it. It was strange. It smelled different than my other home. I couldn't just ride my bike or walk to Grandma's any more. I guess I had never realized how difficult that time in my life was until today, how scared and sad I was. I also felt confused and guilty. I thought it was my fault, something I'd done. I remember telling one of my classmates at school that we couldn't live all together anymore because I squeezed the toothpaste from the middle of the tube instead of the end. At the time that seemed like the most logical reason to me. I had no idea what else came in to play in the situation. This is how my little 6 year old mind interpreted the situation. It breaks my heart to think about the children who are feeling that loneliness and sadness and maybe even guilt. I can't imagine how I would've felt as a foster child who wasn't able to bring my doll or care bear, or my mom with me...to suddenly have NONE of my things or comfort items around me. Anyhow that particular exercise brought up emotions I wasn't expecting to have to deal with today...emotions I wasn't even aware still existed but evidently they do.
To close on a high note, we'll back up to the beginning of the class... the pastor started off our session with prayer. As he prayed "Father God, please be with these moms and dads..." *Tamra starts crying* He just called me MOM. I was totally not expecting that kind of reaction. He wasn't a friend or family member trying to give me a pep talk or sooth my broken heart. I've waited for so long to be recognized as a mom. I just don't even have the words for the sheer joy that just hearing the word "mom" brought to me. I am a mom...I am a mom...I am a mom! You may think "No you aren't...you don't have a kid yet" I am just as much a mom as a woman who is pregnant. Somewhere in the world tonight is a baby out there, who may just be conceived or maybe just born, who will come in to my home needing all the love, safety, and comfort I have to give. I am a mom, just waiting for my child.
I am a mom :)