Foster Mom: Saying Goodbye

By Melanie Wilson

Saying goodbye is never easy but saying goodbye to the first person that called you momma is something completely different.

The baby came in October and we made it through the holidays. He turned one and we had a fun circus birthday with tons of family and friends.

In foster care there are things called “Family Team Meetings.” It’s a meeting of case workers, biological parents, sometimes other biological family members, lawyers, foster parents, and CASA workers. I think that is all but I might be forgetting someone. We had a team meeting in February and the decision was made that the child would be moving into his biological aunt’s home after his brother moved in and had time to settle.

I knew this day would come. Even though I really liked the aunt it was hard to hear that we were at the point for him to move but it would be awhile so I wasn’t going to waste time worrying about it. It was time to enjoy the last moments I had with that sweet funny baby, who was now a toddler.

I continued on everyday like normal. I decided to text the case worker one Monday in March to ask if the judge approved the plan and to see what the time line was looking like because we were trying to make Easter plans and a family vacation. The text I got back was not what I was excepting.

Let me say this first – I know caseworkers are overworked and not paid enough for the work they have to do.

The text message was that he would be moved next Monday. Like in 1 week? What? I messaged back saying I thought that was not the plan. Her explanation was not to my satisfaction and really upset me.

There was nothing I could do. I knew what I signed up for. I knew it would be hard. I just thought when a plan was made that is what would happen. Remember I am a planner and type a, so not sticking to the plan was not an option in my brain.

Anyway, in 1 week the baby would be gone. I decided we would not be sad but excited for him to be going to his aunt’s house. The week was rough. Rocking him to sleep every night, even though I had stopped doing that a long time ago, made me cry when I put him in his bed. I hugged and kissed him more than ever. We got donuts several times because that baby loved to eat. We got to go to the park several times that week. I made the most of the time I had left with him. My parents came for the weekend and we went to the zoo. At the end of church the preacher held him and the entire church prayed for him and his family for the next chapter. We had a big family/friend picnic on Sunday after church to celebrate the time we got to love on this sweet baby.

Monday came around. I brought the other baby to daycare so my mom and I could spend the last few hours we had playing. The caseworker was running behind so we got a few extra moments with him. We played and played and then he passed out. My mom and I each snuggled and rocked him till the caseworker got there.

Putting all of his stuff in the car was so strange but it was nothing like putting his carseat and then him into that van. Of course we started crying but sucked it back up to hug and kiss him. I told him how much I will always love him and how I will always pray for him. He gave me kisses and waved bye. There was no more sucking it up watching that van drive away.

That little boy changed my life and my family and friends’ lives forever. It was hard the next few days looking at his empty crib or finishing up laundry with his stuff in it.

I still pray for him everyday. I have gotten pictures of him recently and he has gotten so big and has already started potty training at 18 months.

It is hard loving so much but I am very comforted. He is in a great home with his aunt and brother. I know that I am comforted because God has my heart in his hands. God called me to be a foster mom and He will walk every step with me. He will help me love and nurture but He will be there when it is hard and my heart breaks.

DID YOU KNOW: In 2017 32% of foster children were placed in relatives’ homes. The state of Louisiana tries to place children in biological family homes when it is possible. It is believed to be better for the children to be with biological family but the state also gets more federal funds for each child in a biological home so it helps that child and others. It is up to the caseworker and home development to determine if a biological family member is what is best for the child.

3 thoughts on “Foster Mom: Saying Goodbye

  1. Having a good cry here. I was in foster care for the first 6 weeks of my life. I never imagined how hard it might have been for my foster parents to hand me over to my adoptive parents (who are the best parents any child could ask for, BTW). God bless you 100 times for the loving heart you have.

  2. Incredible. Nurturing, loving, and letting go are part of the normal life cycle for parents, but what you do is truly extraordinary. You have to complete the entire cycle on compressed beaurecratic time. I can’t imagine the strength it takes to do what you do. You and the many caring foster parents out there are truly special. God bless you for the love and care you show your children before the inevitable changes that will come.

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