Adoption: Letting go of the foster children
I’ve been a foster parent for a few years now. We basically provide care through a private adoption agency so we always get newborns. Most people who I tell about this ask if it’s hard to let the babies go. So far I only had trouble once and that was when we were waiting to find out about our second son. I was in an emotionally vulnerable place and my mind knew that the infant would go to his forever family and I would continue to wait for my son, but my heart took over and I fell in love with him. I cried a lot when he left and thinking about him now chokes me up.
Most of the time it’s just great to have the opportunity to throw a lot of love at a baby. Babies have that unique baby smell and their hair and skin is so soft. Babies as young as we get really don’t do much more than eat, sleep, and poop. But knowing how important it is for them to be touched and to feel another’s heartbeat is a great excuse to get some cuddling in. Especially now that my boys are getting so independent!
This morning I was feeding JJ (our latest visitor) and it was so comforting and relaxing to me. I keep myself pretty busy and to have to slow down and look at a new life is really amazing. Who will he be? What will he do? Will he be happy with the new life his birth mom has chosen for him? I don’t know. But I thought about those things as I held him, talked to him, and watched him eat.
The other reason why letting the babies go isn’t hard for me is that I often get to meet the new parents. As I’ve posted before their joy is breathtaking. We also stay in touch with some of the families. We become a part of the child’s adoption story and we always try to fill their beginnings with all the things we wanted for our children. Because both of my kids spent time in foster care I try to love the babies as I hope my children were loved. Maybe it’s a way for me to capture the time I missed with my kids. But I also think that of it as a gift to the new family.
So, on the whole it’s not hard to love the children and then let them move on. I’m just grateful that I have the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life, even if it is for such a short amount of time.