Becoming a foster parent is no task for the faint of heart. That’s something Lindsay Rae knows all-too-well.
It’s far from glamorous, it’s definitely not about the money and you’re guaranteed to wind up with a broken heart. But Lindsay will also be the first to tell you, it’s BEYOND worth it.
The mother of NINE was at her neighborhood Walmart, patiently waiting to pay for her items when she overheard the couple behind her making remarks about the woman checking out in front of her.
Lindsay says the woman was surrounded by her five children and struggling to pay for her purchases. That’s when the couple in line began drawing up their own assumptions about how many baby daddies she must have. They made disgusted remarks about how she couldn’t care for her kids or clothe them properly, and even went as far as saying that it was her fault, and now she’s using their hard-earned tax dollars to raise her children.
What they didn’t know is that it was her “fault.” The woman had brought it on herself when she made the brave and courageous decision to foster children who didn’t have such great mommies and daddies.
Thankfully, Lindsay recognized the foster mom for who she was—a freaking superhero.
Disgusted by their remarks, Lindsay took matters into her own hands. She then shared the experience on Facebook saying:
“WARNING; Insensitive people at the Walmart rant ahead.
Last night I found myself sandwiched in line waiting to check out, this is not an odd occurrence. The woman in front of me had 5 children she was wrangling (which did not seem odd to me), as well as the fact that the children were a mix of Caucasian and Hispanic short people. (again hmph…didn’t notice until it was pointed out to me).
Yes, I said ‘POINTED OUT.’
The people behind me, as I wrestled my own whiney toddler, began very loudly whispering things like:
‘How many baby daddies do you think she has?’
‘Can’t even dress those kids for weather.’
‘Just wait until she whips out the food stamps.’
I calmed my 3 year old with old altoids found at the bottom of my purse and looked incredulously back at the well dressed, normal couple spouting such, well, total CRAP.
I looked forward to see a woman fumbling with separating clothing items; coats, shoes, socks and underwear from the food items with the black plastic separators.
There, five kids, two that shared her same blonde hair with jackets and warm shoes and three, beautifully dark haired and deep brown eyes, sad, eyes; wearing shorts, and flip flops.”
Lindsay says she knew right away that the mother was struggling to figure out which cards to use and which buttons would complete the transaction.
“As the class act behind me deeply sighed; and said ‘There’s our tax dollars neatly at work,’ I shot them what I can imagine was the death glare only a mother of 9 can execute to perfection.”
Being an old pro at the whole foster-system-payment-thing, Lindsay stepped forward and offered to help the woman.
“I quietly asked, ‘Foster or Adopted? I have 9 kiddos…two bio, I get it, please let me help.’
She smiled embarrassed, ‘New Foster Mom, this is my first time using one of these, they came 3 days days ago, gonna be with us for a while. They gave us food, but the kids needed clothes, but no stipend has come through yet.’
I looked at the kids and smiled, then turned to her and said, ‘beautiful children I am glad you all have each other.’”
Lindsay showed her how to use the card, and even taught her a thing or two about the process and how to properly separate or combine different purchases to make it easier on herself.
“She handed each child a new coat, loaded up her cart as she left I side hugged her and told her ‘you have got this.’
After they were out of ear shot…I turned with tears to the smug, well-dressed man and woman behind me.
‘Those children? They lost the right to live with their parents just days ago, those clothes? Probably the only clothes they own, or got to leave their home with. THAT woman? Opened her home to kids—kids that needed a safe place to go, when the one they lived in no longer proved to be safe enough or secure enough for them. The food stamps? Something that health and welfare helps an already mother to two feed three new mouths. There are not nearly enough women or people like her this world.’
I whipped back around and started slamming my groceries on the belt, and then turned back around…Voice shaking…
‘AND even IF those kids were all hers, and she had a dozen “baby daddies” and was on food stamps..no child in this country or any other deserves to be cold or hungry, I am sorry, but your behavior? Poorly done, VERY poorly done.’”
The heartbroken mama then grabbed herself a well-deserved bag of peanut m&m’s and finished checking out. Her new “friends,” she says, silently joined a different line following her outburst.
As Lindsay paid for her things, the cashier behind the register thanked the brave mom for what she said to the couple.
“Single mother on WIC. What you said? Rocked!”
Lindsay thanked the young woman and told her to hug her babies tight when she got home.
“I cried hard as I found my Tahoe, buckled the baby in the car, loaded up, and opened those m&m’s.
You foster mama’s out there…hold your heads high, you are the hands and hearts that are the strong and the steady for small ones when they need it most.
Hats off and so much love today to you.”
Lindsay and the mama in her line are warriors.
They open their homes, their hearts and their families to kiddos who desperately need all of those things and more. They don’t do it for the heartache, or the recognition, and they definitely don’t do it for the judgement of others. They do it so that children may have a shot at a normal, stable, full and safe life.
There are a million ways you can help in the life of a child in foster care. You don’t have to open your home to make a difference, but imagine the difference we could make if we just opened our hearts.
Kudos to Lindsay, and to all of those foster mamas out there who are helping to shape the future generation.
As for those who believed it was okay for them to pick apart a struggling mother? We’re praying that their hearts were changed by the sacrifice they saw in Walmart that day.