Saturday, January 14, 2012

Continuous.




"I just couldn't do it, I just couldn't give them back."

I hear that VERY often when I tell anyone I am a foster parent.

It is like, by saying that, they are excusing themselves from the feelings that they feel when they find out someone else stepped up and did this sucky foster care thing and they didn't.

Obviously, fostering is not for everyone or right for everyone...

BUT to all you people that say this to me, with out any honest good reason,

(like you have already lost a child, have been there and done it with a relative placement, are having issues with fertility, ect.)


I just have to say...Shut up.

You have no idea who you are talking to, what I have been through or what you are even saying.

Do you think I felt like I could give my first daughter back to her mom without dealing with the grief of it every day for the rest of my life?

I can't do it either. I just do because it is either do it or go to jail basically.

What you don't understand is that I knew the risk and decided that my kids would be worth it. Period.

And they have been. Every single one of them.

What you don't realize is that by me deciding to take care of these kids and love them like my own even though in the end I am the one that looses them I am taking every bit of pain off of them that I can and even then they still go through more than any child should. Ever.

That is what I have to offer them. I keep them safe. I stand up for them (even though I am ignored on a regular basis). I feed them. I play with them. I make them smile. I kiss their boo boos. I put them in their comfy beds. AND IT IS MY HONOR TO DO IT.

And what do you offer? Nothing. You offer an off hand comment that excuses you from any of this, including helping any of them, because you would "love them to much to let them go"? And for the record, that makes us feel like you are saying we are so cold and heartless that we can actually even do this in the first place.

So, "you love them so much" from afar while they end up in crappy foster homes who only do it for the money.

Way to show your love.

If you can't foster, don't.

But, if you are the "We couldn't let them go" people...consider helping someone who HAS put themselves right where you DON'T want to be.

Pay special attention to the kids when you see them.

Babysit for the family.

Offer to pray AND REALLY DO IT!

Bring a meal when the family gets a new placement.

Help with the kids when you see foster mom has her hands full.


I would say for every comment I get like that I also have one person in my life that doesn't foster, but truly loves my kids and blesses me like crazy. I don't think everyone should foster and I don't think ANYONE should foster out of guilt, but quit making excuses for yourself and just do what God called YOU to do...and stop talking to me about why you couldn't possible do what I do...'cuz it makes me want to tell you to "shut up".

31 comments:

Kelly said...

amen

StarfishMom said...

THAT'S why I LOVE you!!!!
For keeping it REAL!!!!
oxoxoxoxo

Our Journey said...

LOVE this post!! It is definitely the most common comment and the one that annoys me the most!

Diane said...

YES! I can so relate! Praise God for your one special friend that blesses you. I have a good friend like that and sometimes wonder what I would do without her!

heather said...

LOVE this post. It's honest and true. I definitely think foster care (and adoption) are not for everyone. But that doesn't mean that you don't seek out other ways to bless those who do feel called to do it.

The Author said...

Amen! I wish I could just print this out and give it out to people everytime I heard that, including family LOL, and I love that picture!

Tammy (aka. "Mimi") said...

AMEN, Sister!!! Can I share this post on "Trippin'?" I think people need to see it.

MamaFoster said...

of course tammy

ashley said...

if you can't foster but have a heart for kids, become a CASA.

(Ps I agree that when they say they couldn't give them back..it totally makes me feel like i'm the heartless one who can bring kids into my house raise them for however long and then say "so long...")

The Campbell's Journey said...

I'm honestly tired of hearing that too. The other one is "you took another one"! Yes, they called and I couldn't say no. 2 years and 14 placements. Apparently God called me and my husband to do this because we CAN! It sucks when these kids leave. My bio kids mourn the loss of a sibling. Our last placement left for a visit, had court while she was gone, and got placed back with the relative she was taken from. We didn't even get to say good-bye. Ya, my husband and I were devastated! Thankfully we had prepped our girls that this placement wouldn't be here for long. This is reality and no not everyone can handle it. Thankfully there some of us though, that put our heart out on the line time and time again so these children have a safe, loving, nurturing environment even for just a little while.

the johnson crew said...

you make me laugh. i have had all these thoughts... fostering/adopting can be lonely... especially when you loose them. so so hard. but there are still more kids hurting. - i just got a call from our child service worker in mpls, he is now a licensing worker, and he said there are many many waiting children...

so a suggestion for the people who "love them so much that they cannot give them back" maybe they can adopt a waiting child / sibling group who's parental rights have already been taken away. then they can adopt them and love them "so much" that they will parent them no matter how difficult it is. :)

Aspiring Earth Mama said...

A-MEN sister! Can't wait to re-post on facebook.

Celticqueen said...

I loved this post so much I had to link it to my Facebook page!(and I have gotten some good responses) I hear this all the time too and I am never sure how to respond. Now I know, lol! love your blog, love your thoughts. keep up the good work!

Tammy said...

Love this post. We have fostered and would get that comment and it insulted me. Because we could never do it either without God. We had a little one leave that we had from newborn to just 6 weeks shy of 2 and we thought we were going to be able to adopt her. When she left it was like a death to us. We had no support from family or friends because nobody understood. I thought the pain would never go away. I would do it all over again though and we have. She still has a piece of my heart. Every Feb. I struggle a little because thats when she left us. We had several others and it was always sad to see them go but I know that we loved them while they were with us. Fostering and adopting can be a lonely place.

Allison said...

::standing ovation!::

Andrea said...

AMEN! I've said many of those things out loud. "What so I DO have the heart to give them back?" No, I don't I HAVE to give them back.

Rachael said...

I love everything about this post. I mostly just stare at people when they say that, but I wish I could tell them to shut up.

Rhonda said...

Now I know what NOT to say to foster parents. I've been educated today! While I am not a candidate to foster since I suffer from severe depression/anxiety, I can certainly follow through on the suggestions you gave to support foster parents through prayers,meals,babysitting,etc. I truly do admire all foster parents that love and care for precious children who had the misfortune to be born into a dysfunctional situation. Bless you for all you do.

Carol said...

That comment irritates me the most--like it isn't painful to us. Are we some kind of cold and they are tender hearted? In James 1:27 God did NOT say that if it would hurt to let kids go, we don't have to care for the orphan? NOPE! I don't believe He said that everyone has to take children into their home, but He did say everyone has to "care" for them--everyone can care in the ways you suggest, especially be supportive and understanding. People can also be supportive of the orphan, by sponsoring one and all can ask God what His heart is for them to do.

BUT DON'T DON'T pretend that it doesn't hurt for foster parents to have children returned.

Kylee said...

Oh. My. Goodness.

THANK YOU.

The older I get (and therefore the older my friend group gets) the more I am getting annoyed with this comment. When I was a young kid/preteen people would tell me this and I would laugh and tell them it IS hard. obviously. But now, I just want to glare them all down!

I hate it when people say it, in the way that things there is something ultra special about us and that we are immune to pain.

Nope, there's nothing "special" about us, and we're not given an extra dose of grace.

Phew! I could rant forever and would end up saying some words that I would come delete in the morning...so, we'll end this here.

Thank you for being bold!!

Kylee said...

{half of my comment didn't even make sense and I have a million grammatical errors-sorry about that!}

Cynthia said...

So true! I am always tempted to say, "Well, not me! I'm a heartless wench so it doesn't bother me at all to give them back after caring for them as my own for months and months." But I refrain. :-)

TogetherForGood♥ Angie said...

Well said. I've wondered about this feeling in myself in the past. Truth be told, I believe I fear the possibility of being offered the child to adopt and I know we would have a hard time saying no and we already have five children...

That's honesty talking.

All last year Jesus worked on me with this issue. So much that I went to an agency to get paperwork. They discouraged me because they mostly secure families for kids with special needs. Soecial kids equal two kids I don't think we should take a child with special needs. Hubs also said that he doesn't feel the timing is right yet. One of our kiddos developed a neurological disorder last year so I've been extra busy learning about that, getting her to appointments, etc.

I do think fostering is in our future though. It's one way I really can be Jesus to someone.

Mommy's Shoes said...

I am 100% sure I have said this to a foster parent more than once....including my wonderful, sweet, awesome neighbor who opens their home to some very lucky children. And I completely meant it, and still do. BUT, I can honestly say I never meant that it was easy for the foster family. I really never thought of it from that perspective. For that, I am truly sorry. I really admire not only your honesty, but your willingness to do a very hard job for some very needy little ones. May God bless you and your family!

Alison said...

AMEN!!! :)

Pipsylou said...

This is awesome! I am catching up after being off line alot lately...this is SO good! I hate, hate, HATE that line! HATE IT!

Tammy said...

THANK YOU! Both for speaking up about this, AND for helping me realize why that comment irritates me so much. I guess I am normal after all. :-)

Mama to Many said...

Love this post. Have felt the same way so many times. So glad I found your blog and all the other foster blog links you have here. It's great to know others are going through some of the same struggles.

Anonymous said...

I think this is great. I used to be one of these people. We still are not foster parents because of many issues right now but I stopped using that excuse a long time ago. I know how badly it must hurt my heart breaks for all who go through it but I realized if we are called it is not to benefit and stroke our egos it is to bless and be blessed by a child of God that needs people like us in his or hers life. Praying many more will open up their thinking and be honest with themselves. God bless all (loving) foster families, what a difference you are making!

Janell said...

This is fabulous! We are a foster family and hear that all the time and it really upsets me. Our kids are grown, we are in our fifties and we take little babies and no it's not easy to take care of them and it's really not easy to let them go back to a situation you know isn't good! You just pray, pray, pray and leave it up to HIM.

Holly said...

At my fost adopt orientation, I felt like the social worker said it perfectly: "of course it will hurt if the children don't stay in your home. But there's a chance either way, and YOU are the adult. You are taking the pain so that the children can take a little less pain than what they already have. "

(I am starting the process, reading back through your blog)