Mama Said There’d Be Days Like This

Sara Jensen

You held a rock up to your ear tonight, 2 miles down the dirt road at the lake house and put your finger up, signaling me to be quiet while you talked to the person on the other end of the phone. I paused, waiting to hear who you were talking to and when I finally did you told me that you were talking to your mother.

I hope that when you read this later, you can understand a little bit how my heart hurt when you said this. You looked up to me, with your tiny voice and sweet face and told me that your mother was “nice now”. That she was “ready to take care of you”. And my heart hurt so much worse after you said this.

I sat down on the porch floor and you told me that Ariel the mermaid was calling for me and handed me my own rock phone and you walked away.

Later while brushing our teeth, you told me to get out of your space and that you didn’t want to sit on my lap. When your brother saw an opportunity to sit on my lap, he did. You quickly tried to push him out of the way and I explained to you that you had asked for space and that your brother could sit on my lap too. You cried. Your brother lost interest and slid down off my legs and I lifted you up as soon as I could and asked you what you were so sad about.

You wanted to know why your mother wasn’t better yet. Looking at your sweet 4-year-old face, I knew all the words that were so easy to say weren’t because they were too hard for you, too punishing and I had to think of a better way to tell you.

It was hard. It was so hard. You cried so much, I felt so bad. I would feel worse not telling you the truth, though.

“No matter how nice she is, or how much better she is she can never take care of you again.”

“Why?” you are sobbing. I am trying not to sob, I am trying every day not to be so so insanely angry for you.

“Because the social workers, the police officers and the judges all say that she can’t take care of you. I’m sorry baby, I’m so sorry. I can’t do anything about her, the only thing I can do what the social workers, the police officers and the judges told me to do and that is to take care of you.”

“I want to live with her, I want her to take care of me.”

“She can’t take care of you. Ever. She will never be able to take care of you. Even though she loves you. She can’t ever take care of you.”

“She can get better.”

“Honey, we don’t even know where she is.”

“She’s at the hospital.”

“Baby, she left the hospital.”

“Why?” Sobbing.

“Because she didn’t want to listen to the doctors. She didn’t want to get better.”


“Because her Mama didn’t teach her to make good choices. She doesn’t know how to make good choices.”

I’m on the verge of tears. You are so hurt and so small and so lovely. I want you to understand all of the things that I am thinking. I want to be able to erase all the hurt.

You look up at the trees at the lake house. The trees that I always took so much comfort in, the trees that make me feel like my own mother is still alive and near me.

You look up, look at me and tell me that your mother made you sleep beneath the trees. That your mother had no blankets. That your mother had no food for you.

We lock eyes and I say, “Can I ask you a question?”

You say, “Yes.”

“Can I please take care of you? Can I please try to take care of you and be a Mama to you until you don’t  need me to show you how to make good choices?”


So when you read this one day, my girl, my wonderful, brilliant girl. Please know that I loved you, I love you and will always forever love you like my very own because you are. And no matter how mad you get at me for telling you the truth about your birth mom, I hope that you realize I just wanted you to understand and know exactly what was going on. [Click to Tweet]

And yes, we could have had another child on our own easily, we could have just stopped at your brother, but something in our hearts told us to find you. So many people, so many things happened to bring us together.

We feel so lucky every day and even say it to ourselves, that we even were able to lay eyes on you in the first place. Though we never believed in miracles, you are our very first and very own miracle, forever.



when you read this one day, my girl, my wonderful, brilliant girl. Please know that I loved you, I love you and will always forever love you like my very own because you are.

READ THIS NEXTThey Break, You Know

This post was syndicated with permission.

Sara Jensen is a mama, wife, sister, friend, designer, Quaker, foster adopt mother, and T1 advocate living on a tiny island in a big ocean in the PNW. Her book “Be Glad Your Dad” she co-authored with her brother from another mother, Matt Logelin, will be published soon-ish. She insists that she is not a writer. By day (and most nights) you would find her working as the Creative Director for Real Genevieve and running her own design firm Sara Jensen Design.