Saturday, January 28, 2012

I Could NEVER Let Them Go!

I will venture to say that every single foster parent has heard something to the affect of, "I would never be able to give a baby back". I'd like to tip my hat to Mama Foster and this post about comments like that. She says it way better than I could.

Basically, we (Me, my husband, or foster parents in general) could NEVER let a baby that we love go either. We fall instantly in love with them. We get way too attached. Our hearts break with every injustice. But what are we to do? Not help a child who has no home because it will hurt us when they leave? Are we supposed to let these kids go people who can remain distant and not invest their whole selves into these babies? Obviously, No.

Here's the practical guide we follow when giving up our children:

Step 1- Ya put on your Big Girl Panties, because the judge just said "Immediately" and you have no say in the matter.
Step 2- Pack up 6 cans of formula, Gerber puffs, Baby apples, teething toys, blankets, bottles, and 4 binkies.
If you're not going to be with this kid, you best make sure they have what they need.

Step 3- Take in as much of that smile as humanly possible.
Don't you love the boogie nose?! Gross!
Step 4- You do a load of laundry
(or 3, 'cause Lord knows I'm always behind in the laundry race)
Step 5- Do one final keepsake and take LOTS of pictures
Step 6- When Baby is sleeping, and you have a few minutes to get everything together, cry as loud and ugly as humanly possible. Don't forget to back the Medicaid card and diaper rash cream!!

Step 7-  At this point there are no more tears. You go numb and take the longest drive ever.
You've already held your baby for the last time.

The handoff was what I expected. We pulled up next to Dad's car. Brandon carried the boxes and I opened the door to our van so Dad could pick up Baby 5. Dad thanked us for taking care of his son. He said it takes special people to do what we do. Baby got mad that he was woken up during the vehicle switch and he looked right at me and cried as Dad walked away with him. I was very upset by that little face that screamed how he needed his binkie and a few taps on the butt to feel better. When we got back into the van, Brandon said Dad had yelled from his car, "Keep in touch!", but I didn't hear it. Maybe I'll text him in a week to see how things are going, although it's not like he would tell me if everything was falling apart.

I'm a little bit of a wreck over the whole ordeal. I haven't changes the sheets on the crib yet, but I made Brandon take the bassinet he used to nap in out of the living room. We put away our infant carseat. My house doesn't smell like baby lotion and formula anymore. Saying Goodbye is hard, and I hate it.

I get way too attached to my kids. I would never be able to let them go! Except, I do. I manage to get through it. I feel every bit of pain. I grieve. I cry.

And I'll do it again because it's completely worth it.


  1. Foster care stinks. Sure - there are a lot of beautiful parts. But this part stinks.

    I'll be writing a similar post in 2 weeks I'm sure.

    Praying for you!!

  2. Goodbye, sweet baby 5...praying for a league of angels to surround him!

    You were the best Mama to that baby he could have had during this time, and it makes me smile to think about how 20 years from now he may have a little mannerism that came from his early days with you. :)

    Oh how I have come to hate hate hate hate clear plastic totes. Every time I walk past them in Target it gives my heart that sick feeling.

  3. i do steps 1-7 exactly how you do.

    i'm sorry your baby is living with someone else.

  4. Can't tell you how much I needed to read this tonight. Possibility of saying goodbye soon and as much as I know it's the right thing in our situation it's still hard, but they are worth it. And I'll do it again.

  5. :( I hope you don't mind, but I tweeted your post. Your steps are exactly right! And the old "stop saying you could never do it to me" soapbox somehow never seems to be stood on enough. You did an amazing job being his momma, right down to the last second. I'm so glad that his dad said to keep in touch.