Jamie, who shares her experiences of being a foster parent in the US on her page Foster the Family, explained what happened when she picked up the two-year-old, who had spent the past five months in care.
When she brought her home, she invited her to go and meet her other foster children (“the welcoming committee”).
“She wanders around with the other kids for approximately 11 minutes before she runs into the room with a smile and says: ‘Look, mummy!’ to me,” Jamie wrote on Love What Matters on 11 February.
“The woman she met 11 minutes before.”
The phrase made Jamie re-evaluate her definition of what a “mummy” really is.
“To this little girl, mummy meant the female adult of the house, the lady who reached something you couldn’t and refilled your juice,” she wrote.
“Having five mummies in five months, she hadn’t yet had the chance to learn what it actually meant.
“[To her] mummy meant falling asleep on shoulders, kissing skinned knees, teaching ABCs. Mummy meant helping with homework and whispering about friends.
“Mummy meant security. Mummy meant commitment. Mummy meant life-long love.”
She was pleased that at two years old, the little girl had the hope of learning that a mummy isn’t just the one woman who gave birth to you, but someone who is always there for you.
The post encouraged other foster carers and their families to share their own stories.
“When my brother came to us at 17 months old, we were his first foster family,” one person wrote. “He called everyone mummy when he wanted something, including my stepfather.
“We took care of ten foster kids and none of the others ever did that, but most were older so it might be the age. I’m glad this little girl is so loved.”
Another wrote: “We fostered an 11-year-old boy and then a seven-month-old girl, who became our daughter.
“Your post hit the nail on the head as to what it means to be a mummy (and, I’m sure, we can say the same things for the foster dads and those dads who adopt).”