One of the comments I get most is some variation of "I can't do foster care because I would get too attached."
I have had a couple of transitions this year with foster care: the transfer of a 5 year old boy to a more restrictive environment and the run away of a 15 year old boy. With both, I was saddened, not only because they left, but because I could no longer help them.
Right now, it's Saturday night and I'm sitting on the bathroom floor while my almost 2 year old foster son is splashing away in the tub, water escaping the porcelain side walls. It's amazes me that he can play so freely, seemingly without any cares in the world. Sometimes I wonder if he knows that he is somewhere else besides home. In these short 7 weeks, he started identifying my husband and I as "Ma-Mo" and "Da-Da", surrendered to a daily routine, prefers my rocking him to sleep, and most importantly he's taken a large portion of the space in my heart. He feels like a perfect fit to our family, but I have to remember that this may not be his end.
Every time someone asks me if I'll keep him, it angers me. First of all, he's not some stray dog that coincidentally came to my door that I get to decide the livelihood for. He is a person; a human with someone somewhere wanting him back. I don't get to decide if he stays or goes. All I know is that he is here now and I am going to love him with the same love that I would if he was my own. Am I attached? YES! Do I consider myself this baby boy's mama? YES. Do I secretly hope to be able to adopt him? YES. But more than these things, I want what is best for him, which may include me releasing him back to his family one day.
When my husband and I decided to do foster care, we knew that heartache would come. We knew that there would be kids that we would want to parent permanently that would go on to reunification. However, my response to those who fear the loss is simple - It's supposed to hurt! Any time you love someone well, you connect with them and give of yourself to him or her willingly. If I didn't get attached, would I be loving him truly? It is healthy to love. It is unpleasant to fear. So choose love.
So back to the comment "I can't do foster care because I would get too attached"...honestly, that's selfish. Foster care is one of the most selfless things you can do and it isn't a calling for everyone. You might be hurt when a child leaves, but how much more can you, then, sympathize with their pain. Foster care is not about you, so don't make it about you.
Christ died for us. Think He didn't hurt? He had options, but He chose us.
& that's why I choose foster care.