He Screams!

Can you guess that question that I hear most often when we talk about Foster Care? 

"Oh, don't you get so attached to the kids that you're sad when they leave?"

Or some people just comment, "I could never do Foster Care, my heart would be broken when the kids left my home."

Then I ask myself, "Am I dead inside?"

Maybe I'm perfect for the job of being a Foster Mom, because I don't get attached.  But then I question how much I am loving these kids, because if I was truly loving them, wouldn't I be attached?  I often think back to my daycare days, or teaching. . . from the age of 12 I have only had jobs that involved working with kids in some way or another. (Well except for the two years that I drove a bus, but that's a whole entire story in itself!)  You are really able to love on, care for, play with and watch children for the 6-8 hours that they're in your care, and when works over you're happy to return them to mom and dad.  Is this how I'm treating Foster Care?

In some ways I find things in the kids to love, Little Boy "S" had pretty good manners and I loved his sweetness around Ryan.  Little Girl "S" was so heavy to hold and change that it made you laugh and love her for all of her sweet buddha rolls and smile.  She also had a contageous and funny laugh.  And although I don't have much to say about Big Boy "E", Little "E" was easy to please with food, and it was fun to watch him ride a bike.

So now I'm experiencing the best placement yet, Little Baby "G".  I love his smile, intense crawl, the way he claps his hands and dances to music, and how well of a sleeper he has been!  But somehow I am always able to find something negative, and I'm starting to believe that I find negatives in order to NOT get attached.  Maybe I do it just to have reasons that would make me happy to see him go back to mom.

Baby "G" screams.  I don't mean like a sissy girl scream either.  He screams like he's a witch who has just been burned by her hot potion.  He screams like a sick rooster crowing.  He screams like he's dying, and if he was actually dying, it would almost be like a "cry wolf" situation because after so many screams you have to ignore them.  After the first week of having "G" in our home, and after his injury started to feel better. . . this body aching sound started coming out of his mouth.  At first I would feed him right away, change his diaper or hold him. . . but then I started to come to the realization that he's just a screamer.

I know that other kids scream too, but my daughter whines.  Yes, it's super annoying and makes me want to shut her in her room sometimes (although developmentally she totally wouldn't understand, so I don't do it), but I've had 20 months to become used to her little annoying, whiny noises that she makes and so I deal with it. 

These are the odd situations that come with Foster Care I guess.  You have kids that enter your home, and you have this whole new world of learning about another child.  A child that you haven't had around at all, a child that immediately needs your compassion, care and attention.  That means that you have to quickly accept their behaviors, their quirks, their attitudes and even the positives and negatives you find in them. 

Sometimes I question how I would treat Brooklyn if she was a screamer.  Would I pick her up right away? Would I react to each scream and never ignore her? I'm not sure.  What I am sure of is that God placed this little baby in my home.  So if hating "G"'s screams is a way for me to keep me from attaching myself to him completely then that's fine. . . but as his Foster Mom I'm still going to love and care for him, despite the screams, until the day he goes back to his momma.


  1. I hate when people say to me, "Oh, don't you get so attached to the kids that you're sad when they leave?"
    Or "I could never do Foster Care, my heart would be broken when the kids left my home."
    I say, "And mine WON'T?!" The way I see it, to be attached is to love, and that's just what these kids need and deserve. But the pain of letting go is worth it to be able to love on a little one for a short while.
    Another line we get is that we are "special" for doing this. We are normal people who are scared to death of it just like anyone! It's God who gives us strength, not of our own!

  2. And I should add, not only does God give us strength if we need it when we have to let go, but to just get through the day with the child and the whole system!