When I was their Housemother
I will never forget the time I held a 3-year-old on my lap as he thrashed with anger and grief. His head hit my mouth and I felt intense pain as my lip began to crack, swell, and bleed. But my pain was small compared to what that little guy was experiencing after just witnessing his mother removing her personal belongings from the house.
Calling her by her first name, he kept repeating, “_____ doesn’t live here anymore! _____ doesn’t live here anymore!” My heart broke and I tried to think of ways to comfort him. Then God gave me the answer. As I held him tightly, I explained that everyone else gets to call her by her first name but there were only three people in the whole wide world who got to call her “Mom.” He was one of them! He began to relax, and his heart began to heal.
During my years as “Aunt Rayna” at the Baptist Children’s home, my role has often been the same. God has allowed me the privilege to lovingly care for children who are dealing with the pain and grief of not living with their biological parents.
I have willingly and repeatedly stepped into the role of a houseparent to perform tasks that Moms do best, while pointing the children back to their biological parents and their Heavenly Father.
At the Baptist Children’s Home, Mother’s Day has a unique identity. In the week preceding, a housemother encourages and often helps the children tenderly prepare and mail a Mother’s Day card for their biological mother. She may even give hugs and a Kleenex to dry a child’s tears as they deal with their internal conflict which, if stated aloud, would sound quite like the 3-year-old’s, “I don’t live with Mom anymore.” Her heart and soul want to wrap each child up in her loving arms and “make their pain go away” but she must trust God for that as she goes about the home and do what Godly Mom’s do best…love consistently and unconditionally.
When Mother’s Day rolls around each year, my heart melts as I receive cards, phone calls, and social media posts from children whom I have raised. They are now old enough to recognize, appreciate, and puts words to the sacrifices made for them while I was their housemother.
Will you join me in celebrating a special mother in your life or a housemother of Baptist Children’s Home? Your gifts mean that the impact of our housemothers can continue for generations.