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When you have to choose goodbye.

Today for National Foster Care Month, the writing prompt is Goodbyes.

The sad truth is that if you're involved in Foster Care, there are a lot of Goodbyes you are involved.

* parent and foster child goodbyes after visits

* goodbye visits when rights have been severed

* helping children say goodbye to their old lives, schools, friends, etc.

But, as a foster mama one of the hardest goodbyes you have to make is the goodbye of having to have a child move.

Sometimes placements don't work out.

Sometimes information isn't given to you.

Sometimes, you have to choose the goodbye.

There’s literally nothing more devastating as a foster parent than having to make the decision to have a child removed from your home. To make that call that a child needs to move.

As foster parents we love so deeply and we care so much about the children placed in our homes. It’s hard to admit that we cannot go on.

We had to make this difficult decision for one of our foster sons. When he moved in, we thought he was the perfect fit for us and our family. He was so similar to our kids in the things that interested in and in his story. He was even named a name that I had loved since I was in high school.

He did so well in our home. He didn’t have any of the behaviours that the other placements had experienced. We were homeschooling him and he was doing so well. Ethan had spent the last four years praying for a brother and we all thought his prayers had been answered.

And then we had his biological sister move in. The agency didn't give us all the information about their relationship and long story short, the placement of both kids ended up breaking down.

We were gutted.

We felt such guilt.

Ethan told us it felt like our family was ripping apart.

And I told him it was because it did.

Those goodbyes are the hardest. Because we question everything about being a foster parent. We feel the guilt and the sadness to our very core. We feel like we failed a child. And that feelings is heart-breaking.

This journey is hard. And I don't have any pretty words to make it all better when you have to make this choice. But I do know, you're not alone.

Reach out if you need to talk. Grieve. Move to acceptance. We're in this together.

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