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All of Me

A few weeks ago a friend asked Jason and I if in our classes we were trained how to not get too attached to the foster kids we’ll soon be welcoming into our home. We explained that, no, they actually want us to get attached because it would be impossible to love these kids the way they need loved and at the same time hold back and guard our hearts. It’s hard to understand why someone would voluntarily sign up for a program that is likely to end in heartbreak.

We’ve heard others’ accounts and we’re trying to prepare ourselves as much as possible for what lies ahead. I’ve heard other foster parents explain that reunification or releasing a foster child to another family feels a lot like losing a child, like the death of a child. How the heck do you prepare for that?!

Then there’s this metaphor: If a doctor told you as expectant parents that there was a 75% chance your baby would only live for one year, what would you do? Would you rather not love or attach to the child at all? Or give everything you’ve got to give for that year, knowing it will hurt like hell if you have to say goodbye?

Through my job, I was recently invited to a press event where musician Matt Hammitt was promoting his new album, Every Falling Tear, which releases September 13, 2011. He explained the struggles his family has gone through in the past year and the story behind a lot of the songs. When his wife Sarah was pregnant with their son Bowen, a serious heart defect was discovered. The odds of Bowen surviving birth were not great, and even after that he would need a series of at least 3 open heart surgeries to repair the problem. As an artist, Matt began to sort out his emotions through songwriting. This one was written before Bowen was born. I wasn’t prepared for how hard it would hit me as a soon-to-be foster parent…

All of Me

Afraid to love something that could break
Could I move on if you were torn away?
I’m so close to what I can’t control
Can’t give you half my heart and pray He makes you whole

You’re gonna have all of me
You’re gonna have all of me
You’re worth every falling tear
You’re worth facing any fear

You’re gonna know all my love
Even if it’s not enough
Enough to mend our broken hearts
But giving you all of me is where I’ll start

I won’t let sadness steal you from my arms
I won’t let pain keep you from my heart
I’ll trade the fear of all that I could lose
For every moment I’ll share with you

You’re gonna have all of me
You’re gonna have all of me

You’re worth every falling tear
You’re worth facing any fear
You’re gonna know all my love
Even if it’s not enough
Enough to mend our broken hearts
But giving you all of me is where I’ll start

Heaven brought you to this moment
It’s too wonderful to speak
You’re worth all of me
You’re worth all of me

Let me recklessly love you
Even if I bleed
You’re worth all of me
You’re worth all of me

Written by Matt Hammitt and Bernie Herms. (lyrics from here)

In case you’re wondering, Bowen was born, had his first heart surgery, almost died, had his second heart surgery, and is now doing great as a 9-month-old. He has at least one more surgery in the coming months. I’ve been following their story online from the beginning so I really enjoyed getting to hear this not-yet-released album and the passion behind the songs.

Visit Matt & Sarah Hammitt’s blog, Bowen’s Heart, to hear the work tape of the song and read about the day they thought they lost him. (It’s available now through iTunes, too.)


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6 Responses to All of Me

  1. Bella says:

    Wow, wow, wow! It is incredible how much those lyrics apply to foster parents. What a wonderful song. Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. Mama says:

    Wow! Tears are flowing because we need to love everyone that way, with such abandonment. No wonder his song touched you as a soon to be foster parent!

    • Oh man. That tore me up.
      We just completed our home study. One step closer to adopting. Kung Fu Panda 2 got me yesterday, and now this!
      ps- just read your post on “infertility”. we have chosen to view our “delayed infertility” (we have 2 bio kids) as God closing down the ol’ womb in order to nudge us to adoption. And we can honestly say, at this point at least, that we are so grateful.

      • mahlbrandt says:

        Thanks for sharing, Mandi! I’ve heard other people mention Kung Fu Panda 2. I’ll get around to watching that one someday. Probably when we have kids.

    • mahlbrandt says:

      Good point, Mama. It’s a scary thing to be that vulnerable.

  3. Jess says:

    Just found your blog while searching the lyrics to this song. We have had almost 1 year old (as of this Monday) twin girls since July. This is our first foster placement, and we are hoping to adopt. Of course rights haven’t been terminated yet, so we don’t know what will happen. We absolutely KNOW God has placed them in our family, but our hearts are breaking at the thought of ever saying goodbye. Going to look though your blogs a bit more, but just wanted to agree with you on how perfect this song is for foster families.

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