When I was a child, as far back as I can remember, I had a burning desire to be a mom. One of my best experiences was, at 11, babysitting a 2-year-old for the summer on my own. I was a nanny at 11! Her mom was taking attending the university on the other side of the island and I was responsible for her all day. There were no cell phones at that time so it was just her and I. I stayed with the family the entire summer looking after her, cooking, cleaning, keeping her on schedule and entertained. I was loving it! As a teenager when everyone else was watching MTV I was watching Baby Story and subscribed to Parents magazine. I spent my money on subscriptions such as those and I remember purchasing a kitchen set which was a mixer, chopper, juicer, ice cream make, etc. all in one. I actually still have it today. I was going to be a stay at home mom with 10 kids - some I would birth and some I would adopt (those were the days where they had commercials focusing on children from other countries that needed homes). I saw a couple families in my church fostering and thought 'I will do that one day'. Looking at it realistically I don't know why I said that as the children were teenagers and I remember the challenges I heard and saw but I wanted to be an answer.
Fast forward two decade and I was unmarried with no prospects. I was in a relationship but that was more of a passing the time situation as we really had nothing in common that made us compatible other than time. I was in a phase of life where I sought after purpose so anywhere I saw a need that I could help with, I involved myself. I was bored and internally bereft but one thing remained...mothering. It was a bit of a paradox because as the years had progressed (I was now in my 30's) I had grown a bit annoyed by things that would draw me when I was younger - crying babies in particular made me want to go in the other direction. My patience had degenerated. I started taking care of orphaned kittens for a shelter that was not no-kill and I saved some lives - most whom are still with me. It gave me purpose and accomplishment because if I had not stepped up they would have been euthanized. After they grew independent though, the empty feeling returned. Then came the year when most of my fostered kittens ended up dying due to the aggressiveness of internal parasite infestation which I did not uncover until the final two that I took in that season. They were saved and got to the adoption floor so it was a great end to a horrible season. I couldn't save the others but I saved them. Maybe it was a type of foreshadowing of what was to come.