Motherhood is a gift, an amazing love story of a woman and her child. Motherhood involves back-breaking sacrifice and laborious work all the while struggling under the weighty question of Am I doing enough? And any mother will tell you that motherhood is simultaneously the best and the hardest thing that has ever happened.
But what happens when that love story doesn't quite play out the way it was intended? What happens when motherhood is more than the struggle of giving into mom guilt and more about tragedy, abandonment, and loss? It becomes that space where the foster care system is born. Everyday children are taken from their birth families due to neglect and abuse and are placed in temporary homes.
That's where you come in. You who are willing to step into the gap and shake hands with a broken system and say to these children, "I will love you today and tomorrow and every day of your unknown future because today you are my child."
Respite is defined as a period of short rest between something unpleasant. As moms we understand the need for taking some time to ourselves to recharge our batteries in order that we may continue to love the children the world has deemed unlovable. But often we find ourselves unable to relate to the "normal" moms around us and it's hard to take a break when trauma has made our children afraid they'll lose us forever if we run to Target.
Our founder and creator Caitlin felt this loneliness when she and her husband adopted their two daughters. The only adoptive family in their community they often felt pushed out, misunderstood, and, exhausted. She was looking for someone to give her a break--not from something unpleasant, just a break to listen to someone who understood what she was going through and would offer her encouragement that the future will be brighter than it was at the moment.
In 2015 she redefined the term "respite" to create this community--Respite Redefined--a place where foster-adopt moms could come and be themselves, to get encouraged, to get some practical tips on parenting trauma-affected kids, and to constantly hear the mantra You are the mom your kids need today. You don't need a break from something unpleasant--we all know you love your kids to pieces even if they are giving you grief. You just need a break, a short relief that you can come and be encouraged by other women who know exactly what you are going through.
Through podcasts and essays, digital eBooks and prints, Respite Redefined is a community designed to both encourage you and equip you to thrive in the midst of foster care and adoption. Let us be the ones to keep reminding you that you are enough for these kids. You can keep doing this. You are the mom your kids need today and you're doing an amazing job.