Being a Foster mom and saying goodbye

God brought along 2 little boys for our little family. They are so dear to my heart, but I seriously had NO idea what I was getting into!

There’s a ridiculous amount of politics involved. It’s not just taking care of kids when you Foster. The biggest amount of energy used up for me, is from dealing with the Ministry of Children and Family, the paperwork, policies and politics behind it all. And just when you think you might have a bit of a handle on things, they change them on you. And just when you feel like you are settling into the new routine, the routine gets changed. And just when you feel like you could adopt the precious children in your home, the option is taken away from you.

It’s such a huge roller coaster! One day you are told they could be leaving in a couple weeks, and then a couple weeks go by and you hear that it will be at least a couple months, and to plan for YEARS before they leave, just in case. REALLY?! ugh, my heart hurts with all the ups and downs and skipping beats from the shock.

Then, of course, the dreaded news comes to you, they are moving your kids. Yep, they totally become YOUR kids, how can they not? How can you seriously mother kids in your home and not love them, get attached and be devastated when they leave? It’s not in my personality to hold back love from children who so desperately need it. I am their mom and will love them till the day I die.

And of course, it didn’t happen without some big hickups. They changed the day they decided to move the boys and didn’t inform me. So a Social Worker shows up on my door step a day early, right when we were BEGINNING to pack. She was ready to take them and we were NOT ready, in any way. Not only was their stuff not packed, emotionally we were not ready to say goodbye a day early. Of course we had plans for the day other than packing. Special plans for the last day. UGH is right. And yep, I was totally devastated. My little boys were completely undone by it, balling their eyes out uncontrollably. It was AWFUL.

So, we had one hour to pack and say goodbye. Possibly forever. How do you DO that? Thankfully we had been saying all the important stuff before that day. Stuff like, “I hope you love your new Foster mom as much as you loved me.” “One day you are going to be so happy there, don’t be sad about us, I want you to be happy.” “It’s ok to feel sad and happy at the same time, there is lots of sad AND happy things happening.” And then we try to list all the possible happy things- like an awesome swimming pool, more family close by, etc.

And so yep, here I am crying my eyes out every time I see something that reminds me of them, which is EVERYTHING. I went into their room to wash the sheets and found a beautiful picture drawn with marker of the 4 of us together, on the white sheet. Yep, bawled my eyes out again and plan to never wash those sheets.

Lots of people think Fostering is similar to babysitting or working with kids in other ways like teaching. For me, these are MY kids. I have no other kids. These boys aren’t just a job, they are my sons. They are gone, and my life is upside down. I have heard someone say that when a Foster child moves away it can be worse than a death because there is no closure, there is always the hope they will come back one day. Well, I gotta say, that is how this feels. They say it’s like a death, if they were with you for 1 year, it’s like you lost a 1 yr old. Totally devastating.

The boys did chores with me and we’d work together and sing together. Now I work alone, it’s very quiet and takes much longer, so yep, I cry more.

Every part of my day was affected by these kids, and now they are gone my life feels incomplete, empty.

I have a bunch of verses I was encouraging the boys with when we told them they were leaving and they wept for a long time. I remind myself of these verses at times like these. I am hanging onto Joshua 1:9, my Jesus is with them and with me. They are not alone. We will all get through this! <3

Being a Foster mom and saying goodbye. Joshua 1:9

Being a Foster mom and saying goodbye. Joshua 1:9

Are you mourning the loss of a Foster child? Do you feel misunderstood about it? You are NOT alone!!! Here’s another link to a great post about mourning the loss of a Foster child. There are lots of more recent comments on that post that have been a tremendous encouragement to me. It’s from 2008 and took me forever to find it so thought it was high time these topics were brought out into the public. Share your stories and how you are getting through it, any resources would be appreciated too! <3 And big hugs, you are NOT alone.


About Christine

I'm a bit of a health nut and not ashamed of it! God, family and Missions are huge passions and driving forces in my life. I have had fibromyalgia for most of my life and am in the process of a treatment that is gonna give me my life back! Join me in my journey to wellness, make some new friends and maybe encourage someone else along the way!
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16 Responses to Being a Foster mom and saying goodbye

  1. My heart screamed NO!!!! as I read your words in this post, especially about the boys being taken a day early, with no understanding at ALL that this was not what you or they planned and thus would be even more traumatic for all! 🙁 🙁 I’m so angry that things like this happen. My heart is truly broken for you. You have an amazing mother’s heart. I pray that God sends you so much support, comfort, and hope right now. I know you made an INCREDIBLE impact on these boys, and I believe that the love you gave them will continue to reverberate in their hearts and souls. Hugs to you, dear one. <3

    • Christine says:

      thank you so much for your comment!!! It is not common for people to fully understand. I am thankful to have an amazing support network here and have been loved on alot. But yes, it is totally the hardest thing I have ever been through. I have never had panic attacks before this, or grieved like this.
      It is a huge comfort to think that God used us to change these boys lives in a positive way. It has truly been such an honor to have them for that year. I am forever changed by them!
      Bless you for your kind words, <3 hugs back!

      • I’m so sorry to hear about the panic attacks. 🙁 That is a completely understandable response to such trauma. A year is a long time to develop a bond with children! I know this is nothing compared to what you’ve experienced, but as a nanny I have often gotten attached to kids and then had to say goodbye. The parents mean well when they say “let’s keep in touch,” but then life gets busy and it doesn’t always happen. I looked after one little boy for 2.5 years, from when he was 3.5- to when he was 6 years old. I was with him 20 hours a week most of the time, and we developed such a bond. I tried to keep in touch afterwards, but the parents have not reciprocated. It breaks my heart. He felt more like my kid than any other kid I have known. I will always carry him in my heart. <3
        I'm so glad to hear that you have lots of support and have been surrounded by love! I will pray for further healing for you and your husband, and for these two precious boys!

        • Christine says:

          Thank you sweetie <3 yes, it's definitely the hardest thing I've ever been through. It's the kind of thing that dosn't just go away. As it sounds like you know. Sorry you have had to go through that loss too.

          I think some of us just are the type to pour out our love, holding nothing back, and we get pretty hurt. I have friends who are Foster parents and they don't understand why I didn't just hold back so I wouldn't get so hurt. It's just not in my nature and I would feel like I was not doing what God wants of me.

          and thank you so much for praying for us all, I know God is holding me up in part from all the prayers on our behalf <3 bless you!

  2. Jack Friebel says:

    I had no idea you needed to go through such trauma, nd buraucracy, may the Lord strengthen and heal you hearts.

    • Christine says:

      Thank you Jack! Yes, it’s astonishing, esp when it’s in dealing with children who have no say. so sad. The Lord is definitely holding me up, so thankful for His presence through all this. Thank you for praying, sure do appreciate it!

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