- Tracy Allen
I Got Too Attached
When I was asked to write this blog, the question that was asked is if I knew what I’d go through before I signed up for foster care, would I still do it? My answer was yes. Let me explain why.
I’m a planner by nature. I like to know when things are coming to prepare. I knew when my family signed up to foster that our lives were about to face the unknown. I read books, talked to friends who fostered, and tried to prepare myself as much as I could. We ultimately said yes because we felt God called us to foster. I trusted God with our hearts. He has bound up my broken heart before, so I knew He would again if it came to it. I surrendered all my worries and what if’s to Him. We took the leap of faith.
We took the 9 week training that is required by the state. Just like any training nothing can truly prepare you for what you’re about to experience. I remember realizing in the classes that foster care wasn’t just a mission field, but would also be a battlefield. The families we were going to serve would need our prayers and we would need prayer as well. The goal of foster care is to reunite families. As a foster parent I am just a bridge to help them get there. Nothing can truly prepare you for the emotions that you’ll go through on the journey.
After 7 months of waiting we finally received a call for a 5 day old baby girl. I remember my heart pounding as I took that call. I called my husband because he was at work and with his go ahead we said yes! I’ll never forget the CPS worker dropping her off. I remember saying “she’s so little and cute”. She came to us as a stranger. The longer she stayed the more we grew attached. We fought hard to build a relationship with her parents. It wasn’t easy. We would send photos, a notebook at visits with updates, and even made crafts on holidays. If I said that part was easy I’d be lying. In my heart I wrestled with wanting to help her family as much as I could but also I wanted her to stay because we loved her too.
We ended up having Lioness (that’s the name I gave her on social media) for a little over a year. My son and daughter embraced her as “sissy”. My husband and I embraced her as a daughter. My family embraced her as our daughter too. So many people including my church family got attached to this precious little girl. She ended up being reunified with her parents. The journey to get there was such a roller coaster of emotions. I’ll never forget the day we had virtual court. The judge said she was going home. As my family grieved her family celebrated. She left us as part of the family. My heart hurt. I grieved. I cried. The grief would hit me in waves. I felt like I lost a daughter, but God was with me. He held me. He provided people around me that walked with me through the pain.
The beautiful part of the story is now 6 months after being reunified we are still in Lioness’s life. We babysit her 3 times a week. We have developed a friendship with her parents. I can now see the beauty from ashes that came out of her story. I can see God’s hand in our journey. I can see that He never left us and has been with us every step of the way. I can now say without crying giving it our all and the pain of losing her was worth it!
People say, “I could never do that, I’d get too attached”. I would say to that... you need to. These kids need you too. They need you to give your whole heart. They need you to lay down your life for them. I got too attached!
I recently read a quote by Christine Caine that I love. She said, “So often, we are paralyzed by fear of missing God’s will. We literally do not move because we are waiting on 10 confirmations. Here’s the deal, most times you are going to have to step out in faith, to find out if it’s God. God is big enough to redirect you if you’re wrong”. How true this statement is, especially when it comes to answering the call to foster.
If you are scared to foster because you might get too attached I encourage you to do it anyway. If God has called you to it, he will see you through it. True Love is sacrificial and this journey has taught me so much about our Heavenly Father and just how much He loves us and these kids. Our pain, tears, and heartbreak have been part of a beautiful lesson I wouldn’t trade for anything. It is worth it!