Are you a foster parent or have you ever been a foster parent?

United States
January 7, 2008 9:06am CST
My husband and I are in the process of filling out the paperwork to foster infants and toddlers. I'm so afraid that I will get too attached to them and be way too broken hearted when they go back home. The main reason we are doing this is so that we have a better chance of getting a little girl. We adopted two teen boys already and now ALL of us want a baby girl. If you foster or have ever fostered, do you have any suggestions on how to not get TOO attached?
3 people like this
9 responses
@KissThis (3006)
• United States
7 Jan 08
I don't think that there is anyway for you to keep from getting too attached to a child. To be a good loving parent to a child you really have to get too attached. I admit it does hurt if or when a child is returned to their biological parents but I always took solace in knowing that while the child was in my cares/he got the best of everything. All the hugs, kisses, and love that I could give. Knowing that I was able to show that child love and affection always made me feel better. I end up adopting two wonderful little boys. One was thirteen months old when he first came to live with me. His adoption became final just before his fifth birthday. His little brother came to live with me just before his third birthday but it only took six additional months before I could adopt him.
2 people like this
• United States
7 Jan 08
Awe. That's so cool that you got the two little boys! I love that you were able to keep the siblings together. The two boys that we adopted came from a family of five. The other three children were already adopted but, we have developed a VERY close relationship with both of their sisters parents. Their brothers parents aren't interested.
2 people like this
• Canada
7 Jan 08
oh hun, don't get into this for the wrong reasons! if you ALL want a baby girl, why not adopt one? if you foster, in most cases you can't keep the baby, I'm sure you're aware of that! You will get attach and your heart will break with the injustice. You already have experienced that. And plus you're expecting a grandbaby aren't you? why not wait? I know that can't replace a baby of your own to feed, to change, to spend endless sleepless nights with but you know where I'm going with this. Love ya girl!
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Jan 08
Awe. Thanks for your concern. Love ya right back! I just have to try this fostering thing. If we are totally broken hearted after the first one goes home, we will stop doing it but, I just have to try. We want a little girl so badly and girls get adopted by their foster parents. Our boys have two sisters that were already adopted when we got the boys. One of the sisters parents still does fostering for infants and toddlers. I know she is truly heart broken when they have to go back home but, she just adopted another little girl. We are also still hoping for the little girl that we fell in love with last year. Her picture is still on the fridge and we look at it everyday and say a little prayer for her. We were told by her caseworker that unless we were fostering, we would never have gotten her anyway.
1 person likes this
• Canada
7 Jan 08
Well you can expect to be totally heart broken after the first one but you can't stop there because I know that the experience is also rewarding. I now understand your motive and agree. It won't be easy but since you have everyone's support, it won't be as hard either.
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Jan 08
Thanks for your understanding MommaOAT. I know I will love each and every one of the little bundles of joy that come into my home.
1 person likes this
@lightningd (1041)
• United States
8 Jan 08
Having been a foster child myself for a brief period as a small child, I would like to give you a little insight. My foster parents, Carl and Kathy, were awesome. So awesome in fact that when it came time for me to go back to my mom, who had been hospitalized for 6 months, they became friends with my mom, and continued the relationship to this day. I still have contact with them, even though they are 1800 miles away. I am nearly 40 now. Even if you only have the child for a short time, try to establish a good relationship with her parents and let them know that should they need your help in the future to call you. That will go a long way!!
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Jan 08
I forgot to add, I was only 2 at the time when I went to stay with them.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Jan 08
VERY good advice! I didn't even know that I would be allowed to even meet the parents! That's great news for me. Thank you so much. You have no idea how much better I feel now.
@chrislotz (8203)
• Canada
12 Jan 08
I have never had any foster children but I have two girlfriends that have done this. They only got to keep each of the babies usually for only about 6 months so you don't get too attached to them, knowing that they are in your home temperarily. I think if you keep that in mind, that they're not yours to keep, then you should be okay. Think of it as babysitting for someone till they get well enough to take care of their baby. Think of it as you are helping the parents. I know it's easy for me to say because I have never been in this situation but I have talked to my girlfriends a couple times about this same subject and this is what they have told me. One of them is in it mostly because of the money she gets paid for taking foster kids. She is a single mom and this way she can stay home with her two little ones.
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Jan 08
I'm not a single mom but, I'm a stay at home mom. I think I will have plenty of time to hug on these little precious gifts when they arrive.
@drannhh (15206)
• United States
8 Jan 08
I always hoped to be able at some point to foster children, although I would prefer to work with the ones where are a bit older. Due to certain circumstances, it has never been possible for us, but was involved in helping to care for foster children when I was a child, and I was fortunate in getting short-term care from wonderful foster parents myself when I was a teenager. I cannot be of any help to you on this one because I would most certainly get too attached and too heartbroken about not being able to protect the children from the heartless bureaucracy one has to go through. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. I couldn't go through all of that. But I came here to say what profound respect I have for you and for the wonderful things you have done for your two boys. A girl would be blessed to find herself in your care! Good luck.
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Jan 08
Awe. Thanks drannhh. I went to your blog. GREAT JOB! You totally rock!
@enbrown (282)
• United States
8 Jan 08
I work at a preschool and sometimes I see people that foster that are not in it for the right reasons. Good luck, it really seems like you are. These kids have so many problems, it is just heartbreaking when things don't go well.
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Jan 08
Believe me, I know some of those foster parents. That is one of the main reasons I want to be able to do this. A lot of people are in it for the money. We get adoption subsidy money for the two we adopted last year and we spend every single penny on them. We even have receipts to prove it. What money we haven't spent on things they need has been put in the bank in their own little accounts so that they will have money to buy a car or whatever when they are ready. I don't think either of them are worried about buying a house because they both say they are never leaving. LOL
1 person likes this
@ByronEA (109)
• United States
7 Jan 08
I'm not a foster parent, but I was a foster kid. No offense, but I think that attitude is a little selfish. Many times, kids are in foster care because their parents were abusive and/or negligient. Those kids need to be reached out to, to be loved, to be shown that they have worth as a human being. To push them away because you don't want to be attached could make them feel that they are unlovable, or do not have worth as a human being. I don't mean to be rude, but I think maybe you need to reconsider whether you are cut out to be a foster parent or not.
• United States
7 Jan 08
I would say you pretty much know the answer. Your not going to be able to not get attached. Unless your in it for the money. It is clear that your not doing that. I think there is an easier way to do this you just have to find it. Not only do these kids have attachments to parents and homes. You have to be the one to know better and put those kids first. You have time to think of what you truly want. It's easy to say looking outside in. I tried to get this done as well. No one with a good heart can honestly tell you how not to get attached. Your going to be playing with these kids. Getting wot watch them sleep or even fight the terrors from the life they just left. I am wishing you luck as your going to need it.
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Jan 08
Thanks for the good luck wishes. I know I'm going to need them as well. You are right, I'm not in it for the money, I'm going in it to help a child. My two boys are VERY thankful that they got adopted. I know some children aren't.
1 person likes this
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
25 Apr 08
Hubby and I were foster parents for 2 years. For the most part I enjoyed it...at least the kids. The caseworkers, judges and lawyers were the nightmare. As for getting attached that was what finally ended our foster home. We had a 5 year old that they were going to terminate parental rights on. We were told that we were going to be allowed to adopt her and that we needed to bond more with her and get her used to the idea of staying with us permanantely. I loved it...it was what I'd always wanted. We worked on it for a couple months and then they moved her and decided that they wanted to let another family adopt her who had already adopted over 10 kids. I was broken-hearted. They wanted us to keep the foster home open in order to load us up with teenagers (which very few foster homes want) and I said no. I just couldn't cope at that time. We closed our foster home and got on with our life. I know the kids need help but the lying, dishonesty and backstabbing that goes on with the caseworkers tend to ruin it for the foster parents. I wish you lots of luck with yours. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~