To the Stressed Out Foster Parent
I know how you feel. I’ve been there. You want to love on these babies and care for them the way that you feel that God has called you to do. But today, and perhaps this entire week, has just gotten you down. You have been to countless doctor’s appointments, dentist appointments, weekly parent’s visitations, and whatever else the state department has you running around to do. Maybe the child’s case is not going the way you had hoped or prayed that it would go.
I remember at one point in our foster journey, we had 4 children in our home (one including our own son) and it never failed that whenever my husband would go out of town for a work trip, someone in my home would get sick! And not just one, but multiple. It does get difficult and it gets tiring. But you are doing just what God called you to do and He will give you grace for that moment.
When the little stinker decides to draw on your walls, remember your calling.
When your little one is remembering some difficult times in their past and the only way they know how to deal with it is to lash out, remember your calling.
When life gets hectic with inviting children that you do not know into your lives and into the lives of your children, remember your calling.
When you go to the bathroom and cry because you feel you are failing your sweet foster child and everything seems to be falling down around you, remember your calling.
Even on your worst day, you are still more to your foster children than what they have known and seen. They still have a roof over their heads, warm food in their bellies, and a clean, comfortable bed to sleep in. You have shown them the love of the Father. You have shown them stability and what a true marriage could look like. You have shown them what it feels like to be loved unconditionally even when they make mistakes.
When case workers are asking you to add more children to your home and you feel you’re at your emotional and mental limit…It’s okay to say no! There is nothing wrong with knowing your limit and knowing that you will be a better parent taking care of the current little ones in your home.
I have said this to other foster parents, and I’m going to say it to you. It is better to care for and focus on the ones that you have, than to overload yourself and not properly be able to care for any of them. These children need love, they crave it. They need stability. I know it’s hard to say “No” when you get that phone call. But sometimes you have to do it for the sake of the foster children that are already in your home. Although, if you feel that you can take on more children, then by all means, load your house up!
I just want to encourage you today. I want you to know that you are doing an amazing job and the children in your home will be forever grateful. The children’s biological family will be grateful, whether you ever hear it or not.
Just a few things before I go:
Take some time by yourself. Take some time to breathe. You need it.
Don’t overthink this. Foster children need a home, they need love, and they need stability. You can provide that. Everything else will fall into place.
If you’re not on a schedule, get on one. It will help the flow of your home so much more and it will help stabilize that child that has come out of a world of chaos.
Do not be afraid to pick up the phone and call a friend for help. People are willing to help, they are just waiting on you to say something.
I’ve said it before and I will say it again. The most important thing that you can do for yourself and for your family is PRAY!