Fostering is the Hardest Thing you Will Ever Do

Recently television depicted foster care as one of the hardest things you’ll ever do, here is a foster parent’s response:

As I am writing this I have tears streaming down my face. The reality of what is about to happen is sinking in. Twenty months ago we picked up a blue eyed, blonde haired little boy in a Hobby Lobby parking lot. His skin so white from always being inside that when I put sunscreen on him I couldn’t see it. He had dark circles under his eyes and would devour food when put in front of him. He was hyper-vigilant and hyper-complaint. And all of a sudden he was mine.

How quickly and fiercely I loved him surprised me. For twenty months I have been Mom. Now, he is leaving and even though we are confident with where he is going, I am breaking. I can’t imagine not having him walk into my room in the morning. Hearing the shuffle of his feet as he drags his blanket. Hearing his little voice say “I want to be holded” as his tiny little hands reach up my body. I am going to miss his cheek rubbing on my leg when he is feeling uncertain. I am going to miss him calling out through the house “I love you Mom” just so he can be reassured that I am still there. I’m going to miss every ounce of him with a grief stronger than I ever imagined it would be.

Yes, the goodbye is going to break me. It is one of the hardest parts of this journey. He will leave a hole in our family. A hole I didn’t know we had until he came and is leaving. But, the hole he leaves will open an opportunity to bring another child in need into our home, so we will do this all over again! The rewards are far greater than the pain. I’ve gotten to watch him go from a scared little boy, constantly searching for a safe place to retreat, to a happy, thriving little boy. I’ve gotten to watch as my kids learned to love sacrificially. I’ve watched my husband teach him what a dad is supposed to be like. I am blessed by this journey. My family is stronger because of this journey. Even with all the pain, it is absolutely worth it! We will love deeply. Sacrifice greatly. Because all the pain we feel is nothing compared to what they have endured. It is nothing compared to the loss they have had. And if not us, then who?

Fostering is one of the hardest things you will ever do, but here is the good news, God is faithful and stronger than the pain. He will pick up all the broken pieces of our hurting hearts and put us back together, making it possible to do it all over again. He will equip us even when we feel totally ill-equipped. He has broken down the walls I built to protect myself and is showing me that he is all I need. HE is how we do this.

Stacy Bradley

Foster Mom

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