Foster mom’s emotional post explains what it feels like to say goodbye to your foster baby
Being a parent is hard work, but it takes a special breed of tough to be a foster parent. Fostering a child means opening your home and your heart completely, knowing full well that the day may come when the little person you now love so much has to leave you.
Amber Davis knows this feeling all too well. In a post shared by the Facebook page Love What Matters, the foster mom recently wrote about what it was like to say farewell to the baby girl that had been living with her family for the past six months.
“We lost the fight,” she writes. “And by ‘lost’ I mean I didn’t get what I wanted.”
Davis explains how her family has been fostering a baby girl for the past six months. This is the first child her family has welcomed into their home. Now that baby is going to live with her sisters and Davis worries about how the baby she’s grown to love will adapt to her new environment. “I wonder if they’ll learn that she’s a bit reflective of the Princess and the Pea fairy tale in that she has to have a soft pillow to get comfortable and sleep well at night,” she reflects. “Otherwise, she’ll grunt and continually wake up throughout the night trying to get comfortable. I wonder if they’ll figure out she loves to fist bump and blow it up right before going to sleep. It makes her giggle.”
She was teaching the baby sign language, and gets wistful thinking about the fact that now she’ll never have the opportunity to continue the lessons. “If they ask her, she’ll sign ‘please’ for them and let them know when she’s all done eating. I hadn’t gotten around to teaching her ‘thank you’ yet, but that was going to be next.”
Davis talks about how difficult it was to explain why the baby was leaving to her biological son when she herself was having a hard time processing the situation. She tries explaining that the baby will be going to live with her sisters. “But we’re her brothers,” he says. Finally she admits that for now, she can’t find a silver lining to the situation. “I could tell by the look on his face that my lame attempt at explaining things had failed to add up. It just doesn’t make sense. Not to him and…frankly…not to me, either.”
She takes care to shower love on her foster daughter before saying goodbye, filling her sippy cup and giving her a lavender scented bath. “[I] told her I loved her and purposely made her holler and squirm from being hugged too tight,” she writes. “She likes to give hugs, but hates being restrained in one. I wonder how long it’ll take her new family to figure that out.”
Her words are heartbreaking, and after reading them, it would be understandable if Davis decided to was too hard to continue fostering. “The heartbreak is overwhelming me tonight. The tears just won’t stop,” she confesses. “This first loss is more painful than I ever imagined it would be and something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.”
But in spite of how difficult this journey has been, Davis says the pain is worth it. Warrior that she is, she ultimately has no regrets over her decision to be a foster parent, and will do it again. “So the next time I see that all-too-familiar phone number pop up on my caller ID, asking if we are willing and able to open up our hearts and take in another child who needs us to sacrifice everything we have in order to love them for an undetermined amount of time…I already know what my answer will be,” she says.
“Absolutely. Let’s do this. For 6 months or for forever…we’re in.”