So as foster parents there is the inevitable dilemma.
What should our foster child call us?
Mommy and Daddy?
Should they call us by our names?
Is it even up to us?
Our little one has called us mommy and daddy since she got here. Honestly we have not discouraged her, as doing so I think would cause even more confusion. She is not old enough to understand why we would be discouraging her. But I have to tell you at first it seemed odd. Obviously not odd to this little innocent child. Odd to the adults who know the circumstances. I mean, how will the bio mom feel about that? How will our little one react when she sees her bio mom again?
Just last night at dinner, we were sitting around at the table, and our little one pointed at me, and told my wife “That’s daddy!”. I pointed at my wife and asked “Who’s that?” to which she answered “Mommy!”
After some thought, I realized the sense of comfort and safety those words must mean for her. She is with mommy and daddy. Mommy and daddy represent family to her. They represent normalcy. They represent love. Isn’t that, in the end, what we are called to do for this little girl? Aren’t we charged with bringing the joy and love of Christ to one who needs it the most?
Of course the answer is yes. So for now, we will be her mommy and daddy. One day, when she is older, she will understand the difference between our kind of mommy and daddy, and the bio mommy and daddy. But this child has already experienced a trauma in her life no child should ever experience. Adding more trauma by trying to take away the only mommy and daddy she knows right now would not be in her best interests.
Besides, I can’t tell you it doesn’t feel good to be called daddy. Sure, I know one day, she will be mad at me, and as most do, she will angrily take that title away from me as revenge. It is part of growing up and for foster kids part of dealing with their circumstances. And I will have to understand.
But right now, I am daddy.
And as George Strait says in his song, a dad’s love is “A love without end, Amen!”