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Oh, I could never give them back…

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The statement ‘I could never be a foster parent because I could never give them back, I would just love them too much…’ has got to be my biggest foster parent pet peeve, ever! I am not kidding you. I hear this almost daily and it is really starting to burn me up.

First, one may think that this statement is complimentary to the foster parent, but there is a reverse to that statement: ‘You’re a good foster parent because you don’t love them enough to invest in them forever…’ (which I would argue) I readily recognize that this is not what most people mean when they make that comment. But I really wish they would say nothing, or be honest. How about “I could never be a foster parent because:

I don’t want to inconvenience my current comfortable lifestyle, I’m scared of what the kids will be like, I don’t know that I would be equipped to handle the emotional or behavioral issues these children can have, it’s too hard to get in the system, I’m worried for the safety of my own children, it’s clearly not a calling on my life, I’ve already done my time parenting, etc, etc, etc.”

There are millions of reasons why people don’t foster parent. Some of them are good reasons, but it sounds absurd to say one would love a child too much to give them hope, safety and family. And it sounds pretty stinkin’ selfish too.


About Monica

Christ following, husband loving, children hugging foster and adoptive mama.

5 responses »

  1. Where's the Party?

    Amen! I’ve been thinking about that too, especially because it’s my own mother-in-law who tells me that. I think for her, it’s actually true, but she doesn’t understand fostering is not all about her/the foster parent. It DOES hurt but the outcome is still worth it. I bet most people who really think that just haven’t gotten over themselves yet. It’s like how some people think love just happens, but really, it’s a choice. We CHOOSE to love them even knowing they will leave one day.

    But you’re right. There are a lot of people who say that when they should be saying something else from your list!

  2. I think that’s a legit comment though. I think that’s why I’ve never looked into Foster Parenting. If I loved them enough to be a good foster parent to them, it would be a huge emotional wrench when you had to give them back, especially if you weren’t giving them back into an ideal situation. One of my friends went through this and I felt so bad for her. The mother was still not in a good position to be a responsible parent, but they gave the little girl back to her and it was so sad to see her go from a stable home where she was loved and cared for to a home where she was being neglected again.

    I think they need to make permanent adoption easier to free up more temporary spots for children who truly only need a placement for a few months during a family crisis. The whole system needs a lot of work.

  3. Great post….
    To be honest, I never thought about being a foster parent….but then, I never thought about being a parent…..I just sort of fell into it. LOL….
    I had other plans and they were all about me. Then I met my husband and somehow I became distracted, wound up married and woke up years later, a mother of 2. 🙂 But (like you) I wouldn’t trade a day of it all.
    Thanks for the insight….
    Have a beautiful day

  4. Pingback: I maintain my position… « Noisy. Colorful. Lively.

  5. I have an enormous amount of respect for families that choose to foster a child. Kudos to you for being very unselfish and giving yourself to these children. I have often thought of adopting a child in our family and I hear things like, “Why would you do that when you can have your own?” I sometimes think that there are certain people who are hardwired a certain way. But if people didn’t open up their homes and lives and hearts, this world would really really suck.

    In the end you can’t save every child – but it’s nice that there are people like you out there doing something so giving.


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