No One Told Me It Would Be Like This

Friday, March 30, 2012

In our twenty-seven hours of pre-foster care training, no one ever mentioned how I would feel once I was caring for someone else's babies.

Never once did someone say, "Some people feel this way...." or "Others feel like this."

No. Not even a mention of how it might change me or how emotional it might be.

I wasn't naive enough to think it would be a walk in the park, but I was certain that I would fall in love with any child that was brought into my home. I knew I would. There was no doubt about it.

But I haven't.
I don't love them like I thought I would. Don't take this the wrong way. I love them. It would be nearly impossible to not love a child put into your care. I love them. It's just that I don't love them.

I don't miss them when they're gone. I don't want to snuggle them on the couch. I often have a hard time going to pick them up from daycare. Once they get home, everything just gets harder. I honestly don't like the weekends because I know that all four kids will be home all day long. It's hard to do anything because they're all so little and there are four of them!

I look forward to the moments after I pick Luke and Addy up from school when it's just the three of us. Life is just easier that way.

But before I know it, the babies have to be picked up, and the frenzy and chaos of the evening begins. We really do have our evening schedule down now. It's just so much work.

You know how sometimes it gets hard to take care of your own kids? Imagine what it feels like when it gets hard taking care of someone else's.

I don't know why I'm telling you this. Maybe I just need it all out. I want to out on paper so I can see it. Why didn't anyone tell me I would feel like this? Maybe it's just me. Maybe no one else does feel like this. Maybe all the other foster parents out there (the good ones at least) are head over heels crazy about their foster kids.

I really don't know. It's like I try to love them more, and I can't. Maybe it's my own fault. Maybe I'm personally holding myself back from them, but I really don't think that's it. At this point, everything would be easier if I were crazy about them. It would be easier if I loved them more.

I have to constantly remind myself that this entire experience and this entire process is not about me. I'm constantly worried about how I feel, but it shouldn't be about me. And it's not. It's about doing something for someone else and doing it selflessly. I pull myself and my feelings and emotions into it all too often.

What if we could just help someone? What if I could get over myself long enough to actually do some good? That should be the goal.

This is not about me. It's not about the way I feel. It's about the two babies that we have and the momma and daddy they are going to go back to one day.

I've got to stop looking inward and start looking out. There is more than just me in all of this. There is also them. And they are what really matters. 231 of a year of writing....


  1. You are soooo hard on yourself Allison. This is not good for your pregnancy. You need to let it go maybe even the fostering, yes I said it let it go. I for one could not do it it's just not in me. There are soooo many things you do and can do to help in other ways but feeling like this is not it! Sorry if I'm too blunt my sweet girl.

  2. Allison...I have never been a foster parent so I can not speak from experience and I honestly admire you for even considering it, much less taking in 2 babies. But maybe you are not holding back, maybe God doesn't want you to love them like your own to protect you and your heart. You will be giving them back one day. You do have 2, well technically 3 babies of your own that need the type of love only THEIR own momma can give...just like the 2 foster babies will need a love only THEIR momma can give when she is ready. Try to just enjoy the time with them and know God trusts you and what you are capable of, nothing more. Give them what you can and just know in your heart that that is enough. God will never give you more than you can handle. And I am sure he never intended for any of it to be a burden. Maybe your eyes just need to be open to how special your own babies really are and the bond you have with well as show the foster baby's mom the very same. You are doing God's work and we are all so proud of you!! "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, its about learning to dance in the rain" XOXO~Lace

  3. my cousin Kerry sent me to your blog. I could have written this exact post!! you are not alone at all in feeling this way. Thank you so much for being open &honest about fostering. we also have 2 of our own & 1 we just adopted. & have 2 foster babies, siblings. we've been fostering for almost 4 years & have had 16 foster kids. some we just love & some we take care of, & care for, but feel like you do. I get asked all the time "how do you let them go? don't you just fall in love with every baby/child?!" & when I say Nope. they look at me like I'm this horrible person. I"m trying to get a good response that explains it a bit better, but I hate that look I get, as if I"m a bad person for not falling in love with every foster child. anyways, thanks for being open, keep it up, please!! I blog about our fostering adventure...(although not often enough)

  4. Thank you so very much for writing what so many of us feel. I do wonder if it's bad that I don't just jump up and down with joy because of them sometimes. But, you're right. It's not about me. It's about being willing to give up what's comfortable and more enjoyable and easier to allow Christ's love to love these kids through us. My friend, Mary Lynne, above, shared this ... and I'm so glad she did and you wrote it. You're not alone, sister. Thank you for your honesty and giving me the courage to feel like I don't always have to have it all together and love every minute of what we've been called to do.

  5. Allison,

    Great post. Right on! I feel the same way. We have been fostering for almost two years. I can't imagine if we didn't foster. But I do know the feeling you are talking about. There are definitely hard days. Thank you for you honesty and for the reminder that I can choose to love as Christ does. I do believe my understanding of the mercy and grace I have received from the Lord has become more of a constant realization as we foster our little ones day in and day out.


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