Foster · Life · Love

Too Attached.

“I couldn’t do it, I’d get too attached.”  This is the single greatest excuse I have heard as to why people claim they aren’t fostering.  First, let me say this… I have never shamed or blamed someone for not being a foster parent, nor have I ever asked someone why they weren’t fostering.  This excuse is just offered up… by friends, family, and even strangers when we speak about foster care, it’s never elicited, it’s just given.

I understand the concept behind the statement.  I understand that it is and will be difficult.  But it is still an excuse.


I have read several articles on this topic where foster parents feel that this comment insinuates that as foster parents we are somehow detached, or our hearts aren’t as big as the one’s offering these comments.  If that’s how people view me, then they don’t belong in my circle because that couldn’t be further from the truth.  The ones that know me know my heart.

Therefore, I call it for what it is… an excuse.

There are 128 children currently placed in foster care, relative care, group homes, or institutions in Jefferson County, Illinois, alone.

But you would get too attached.

There are 14,883 kids placed in care in the state of Illinois as of April 2018.

But you would get too attached.

There are over 3,000 children in Illinois alone that are in care.

But you would get too attached.

This is not about you.

It is about them.

Too attached.

What is too attached exactly?

Do you mean when I am up in the middle of the night rocking him back to sleep for the third time?  Or maybe you mean taking my son to his soccer practice…  Or answering her difficult questions…  How about trips to the doctor…  To the dentist… To the counselor…  To the developmental therapist…  Or maybe you mean kissing his forehead every night when I tuck him in…  Or fixing her hair and doing her makeup just because…  Maybe it’s the late nights awake worrying about his teen years…  Or questioning and over-analyzing behaviors, wondering if they are attributable to genetics or just typical aged behavior… You probably mean those moments he looks at me and tells me he loves me without prompting… Or feeling proud when he hits milestones, no matter how delayed…  Or when he is fussy and only I can calm him…  Or searching for the right words to tell her goodbye, or the right words for that first hello…  Or the quick trip to the store to get last minute essentials because you were just notified he is only coming with the clothes on his back… Or just staring at him as he sleeps because I do not know how long I will have that privilege… I don’t know. We don’t know. We don’t know how long we get to love these kids.

We do know we get right now.

Right now, we can make a difference.  We can love them and make them feel loved and wanted.

You see, getting too attached is the point.

I know you mean you couldn’t handle saying goodbye.  But if not you, then who?  If we don’t say yes to this crazy difficult journey, then who is going to say yes for these kids.

They deserve for our hearts to break a little more every time we have to say goodbye. They deserve for you to get too attached.







2 thoughts on “Too Attached.

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