As a school teacher I had children in my class who had been rescued by CPS and were in foster care, and it really touched my heart. I wanted to open my home and my heart, and obviously I knew it was going to complicate my life. This beautiful little girl was placed with me, and when I adopted her I became a single working mom.
My life has changed in so many positive ways because this little girl has just brought such joy to me. But at the same time, because I’m working, I feel like, am I enough? Am I giving her enough? And am I giving her the right things? I don't really have a support system for myself and my daughter. My schedule is her schedule, and as a school teacher when I go to work I’m the only adult in the room.
I wanted to find a new church home that had more of a sense of belonging. I brought my daughter to the Christmas service at St. John’s, which was very beautiful, and we started attending Awesome Worship. The very first day we attended, one of the other members reached out to us right away, introduced themselves, and pointed out another group that she was a member of that we might be interested in. So I started going to the Sunday morning parenting classes.
One thing I really like about the classes is we hear from therapists who are also moms talking about their mistakes. Even when they knew it from their research, occasionally they slip up. You realize, “I'm okay,” because these are people that are experts, they're making these same mistakes, and they're talking about how they work through them. We're all looking for the answers to the same questions, and even for therapists these were things that they had to work through. That was a big relief!
Just by coming to these classes, interacting with other parents who are going through the same things, I realize I'm not alone. I'm usually not one to ask people for help because I'm trying to take care of things myself and I don't always know if people would get what it is that I need. But in these classes, if I have a major question I can ask somebody. I don't have to be embarrassed.
You know, you're trying to be strong for your kids, you're trying to act like you have it all together, and nobody has it all together. That's what I'm realizing. I'm thoroughly enjoying the parenting classes. I'm always asking, "Is there something else?" Because these classes and just the opportunity of connecting with other parents has been very meaningful for me.