May 2013, Indianapolis, Indiana
Our first Safe Families placement was 2-year-old M. He was a little teary and confused the first day, but by the second, his little personality was starting to come out. He was sweet and cuddly and funny and loud and a little defiant.
We told him our names right away, and we repeated them over and over again. We have two little boys already who will hopefully someday call us mommy and daddy. And mister M had a kind, gentle, soft-spoken mommy I met the day I picked him up.
But no matter how hard we tried, he would not call me “Natalie.” I heard him call out for mommy once, but I knew he was likely just calling for help in the hopes the mommy he had known for two years was suddenly in this confusing place he was now sleeping.
A day or two later, it was undeniable, though. He looked up at me from his booster seat with those milky brown eyes, held up his arms, and said “mommy.”
He was the first to ever call me mommy. He slept in the bed of those who were to be the first to call me mommy. He wore their clothes. And it was really a privilege. God knows what I need. And He meets my needs on His terms, not mine.