Chronicles of a Foster Parent: Fostering Sucks

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August 29, 2014 by greenhouse04

Foster care sucks. It sucks for the parents who have their children taken from them; it sucks for the social workers who do the taking; it sucks for the foster parents who chose to care for other peoples’ kids; and most of all, it sucks for the children.

Tonight my heart is so sad for our little foster son. He has lived with us since he was five days old. We are his family. In his eyes, I’m his mommy. He trusts us, loves us, has fun with us. And as far as he can understand it, he will soon be abandoned by us.

Any week now, he will lose his mommy, his daddy, his brother, his sister, his home. He’ll gain something wonderful – a home where he belongs – but he won’t understand that for a long time. All he’ll understand is that he doesn’t see the faces that used to bring him reassurance and happiness.

This really hit me yesterday when we were at a developmental screening for Baby M. I was there, his dad was there, and his mom was there, plus the specialist doing the screening. At times, M. was a little overwhelmed by all the big people staring at him. I could see a little bit of worry in his eyes, while he scanned the faces. Then his eyes would come to rest on my face, his eyes would brighten, his mouth would relax, and he would crawl toward me.

Most parents love to see that their child recognizes and prefers them over others; I wanted him to rest his gaze on his dad and crawl to him instead. I absolutely hate the thought that I will be the cause of distress in this precious little boy.

But technically, I won’t be the cause. The parents will be the cause, the “system” will be the cause. I’ve been part of the cure – an absolutely necessary part. But to him, I’ll be the cause.

But if I really love these homeless children, I will make that sacrifice. I will be willing to one day be the cause of their pain, so that I first can be given the chance to the channel of their safety and healing. To simply be there for them when they need me. Even though it means I’ll one day be gone again.

Baby M., forget me. Don’t miss me. Love your daddy – soon you won’t need me anymore; I’ll be gone, and he’ll be there for you. And there’s another Daddy who will stick closer than anyone, who will never forsake you. Find Him, love Him. He loves you more than any of us could know.

And I’m praying for you, Baby. Praying that God’s grace and peace would cover you in the weeks ahead. That somehow, He would redeem this situation. Because apart from Him, foster care would only and always suck.

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