Foster care is meant to be temporary. When things work right, the case goals are to give the best permanency to the kids, which is to return to the home (if the home life is improved) or to place with family. Adoption by an unrelated family is usually the last option on the list. So, when kids come into your home, you know that most likely they won’t stay. It’s just a matter of how long before you have to say “goodbye.”
In a way, that means that you try not to become too attached to the kids. You love them the best you can, but you want to keep in mind that this won’t be permanent. But when you’re raising a child day in and day out, experiencing with them their hurts and their joys, it’s hard not to become “too attached.” You love them and then you fall in love with them.
Then the day comes where you have to say goodbye.
And it’s rough.
When you’re reading one last bedtime story, they fall asleep, and then you have to walk out of the room knowing that bed will be empty tomorrow night, you can’t help but shed some tears. And that’s okay.
Such goodbyes shouldn’t be easy. Even if you’ve had a hard time with the child, it’s not easy. But it’s what you have to do. It’s part of the reason we do this: To give the child a temporary home until they can find permanence. So we love, we fall in love, we say goodbye, we cry, we get ourselves together, and we do it again…