One of the hardest things to deal with in the foster care system can be to say goodbye to a child knowing that there is a high percentage that you will never see him or her again. In fact I’ve heard first hand from men and women that the number one reasons they have not fostered children is for this very same reason. While it is very difficult saying goodbyes and is often filled with emotional pain and tears, it is not the end of ones personal life or family life.
You have to always keep in mind the main reason of why you considered foster care in the first place. It was to help children have opportunities and a chance at succeeding in life. This not only helps ease the pain when you keep this as your focus but also helps you keep perspective of everyone’s life, including the biological parents.
Getting past the point of pain is definitely not easy, in fact it can be very difficult on certain personality types, especially those that become very attached in short amounts of time. My wife and I have had to say a few goodbyes while fostering children and can’t begin to explain the hurt and pain it caused us both, but such is the foster care system. It’s filled with ups, downs and windy roads, but at the end of the day we both are more excited than ever to foster children and help instill value and a sense of peace in their turbulent lives.
When most people think of saying goodbye it is to loved ones as they pass on from this life to the next or a loved one who is deployed because of military duty. In every sense the word goodbye can be difficult to deal with but that is why you must make up your mind in advance that whatever type of goodbye you will deal with whether a sick or aging loved one or a foster child, you must be focused in the moment and make the best out of the time you have with them. Even those who you might not see departing very soon can very well be gone in the blink of an eye. We must treasure the now!
I also find that if your honest with your own self and your own feelings, this helps alleviate pain that can come from goodbyes. When you know that there is pain coming around the corner, you tend to brace for it where it doesn’t hurt as much. This can also be another method some use, especially in foster care.
All in all, it’s never easy to say goodbye. The high school sweetheart, the mother or father who passed away or the foster child that was moved from you home and into another. We have to take time and love now that we are blessed with the opportunity to have those relationships. Let’s take inventory of all of those in our lives and learn how to appreciate those placed around us. We all have room for improvement in this area.