People say “I’ve always wanted to foster but I just couldn’t do it, I couldn’t get that attached.”
Really? You can’t? Because I think if you can love at all if you can attach to anyone in your life – you can foster.
Broken down in its simplest form isn’t fostering just representative of the human experience to vulnerably love someone? Shouldn’t that really be our goal for all of our relationships?
Think about it.
Stripped down, isn’t it how most of your greatest relationships started? How your best friends, children, spouses came into your life?
Someone unexpectedly comes into your life, they have their past, you have yours, you both are flawed, seemingly ‘hard to love’ human beings at times. You learn to work together, along with all of the outside forces in your lives that affect your relationship. You work desperately not to give up on one another, you build a relationship based on each person loving the other to the best of their ability for as little or as long as you have together, both never guaranteed tomorrow.
At some point it will be over, you will say goodbye. It’s inevitable, at some point in your life you will let go of everyone you have ever known. Yet while you have one another you strive each day not to let that fear stop you from loving them NOW. You will, of course, be heartbroken with every goodbye but you will go on, each bettered because of the lessons learned and the time you spent together. This is precisely foster care. This is exactly every relationship.
So I ask you, is it really that different than any other relationship you’ve had? Is it that complicated after all? Or are you just trying to avoid loss wherever you can because life is hard? It’s understandable, it really is, but love and loss go hand in hand. You can’t avoid one without denying yourself the other.
I get it. To love is to be vulnerable. The vulnerability is scary hard, but in this day and age what isn’t?
Can you imagine this very scary world of unavoidable grief without your core ‘people’ to support you? Now, on top of that, imagine being a child in it. Then if that wasn’t enough, imagine someone telling you, that scared lonely child, “no I am sorry I can’t take you in when you need me most; I can’t love you, simply put – because I’m afraid to lose you.” That’s what we are saying when we say “I’d get too attached.” We are saying “I fear loss, so I am also choosing to forego love no matter the cost.” When put like that, does it sound different to you? Can you see how a child knowing a loving home far outweighs any risk we may take in loving them?
My prayer for everyone that has foster care on their heart is that they wouldn’t let the fear of loss paralyze them, but the hope of love drives them. It’s not that I think everyone should foster but I know way too many people that want to do it, would be great at it but think they can’t. I want everyone to know they can!
Think about it, is it that you really “can’t” or is it that you are afraid? Because if fear is what’s stopping you I can promise you the kids are worth conquering that fear. Everything truly worthwhile always is. The same way all your loved ones currently in your life have been worth it this whole time and always will be to you.
Love is always worth it. Living out the Gospel will never let you down, saying you can’t always will.