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Like 50% of people in America today, I grew up with in a home with divorced parents. Mine happened to split up when I was six years old and because I was so young, I have very few memories that I can recall of my Dad from when my parents were still together. However, there is one that I remember vividly.

My sister and I had gone to bed and were fast asleep when my Dad came in to our room and woke us up. He told us that the original version of the Wizard of Oz was on TV and we needed to see it. I remember how exciting it was for us to get out of bed and go in to my parents’ room, jump in to their bed and watch the Wizard of Oz for the very first time… and as a family. That was one of my favorite memories with both of my parents.

Now to today… I have been a foster Mom to a boy and a girl (siblings, who are now nine and 11 years old) since October 31, 2014. In just a few short weeks they will be moving in to their “forever home” as they get adopted by a family that we have known for many years, and love. It is such an emotional time as we prepare our hearts to say goodbye to the first kids to ever call us Mom and Dad.

Tonight, the boys were out for the evening so it was just my foster daughter and I at home. Her teeth were brushed and she was in her pajamas and I was getting ready to tuck her in. For some reason I flashed back to many years ago when my Dad ‘broke the rules’ and in turn, created a memory that I will never forget. I looked at my foster daughter and said “You want to go swimming?” She looked at me (slightly confused) and said “Tonight?” and I nodded.

And so we traded our pajamas for bathing suits and went outside to the pool, cranked up some of her favorite top 40 tunes and swam, danced, sang and laughed in the pool for over two hours… in the rain. As the steam came off the pool, she swam over and gave me a big hug. It was one of the many times during our two hours in the pool that I had to hold back my tears.

Sometimes you just need to let the ‘rules’ go to create memories and beautiful moments that will last a lifetime. For me, tonight was one of those times.